The line-up of slide trumpet, tuba and drums is, to say the least, somewhat unusual in jazz. As is the choice of Hank Williams' So Lonesome I Could Cry" as a vehicle for improvisation. On Tattoos and Mushrooms, trumpeter Steven Bernstein, tubaist Marcus Rojas and drummer Kresten Osgood go boldly into aural regions where no man has gone before. To put it another way, this is not what Count Basie called music to pat your foot to." Indeed, there are some deeply disturbing sounds on this album. Bernstein is best known for his work ...read more
Interstellar Space (Impulse!, 1965), John Coltrane's raucous tenor sax duo album with drummer Rashied Ali, is widely considered the pinnacle achievement of such instrumental pairings. Its blistering intensity continues to haunt similar efforts, yet there are a few intrepid souls who have opted for a more subtle, dynamic approach--one which favors conversational interplay over kinetic fury.
New York-based saxophonist Michael Blake and Danish drummer Kresten Osgood are two such explorers. Longstanding collaborators, they served as sidemen to organist Lonnie Smith and toured in Blake's freewheeling Blake Tartare ensemble. Over the years they have developed a deep-seated rapport, lending ...read more
"Without Paul Bley, there would be no Keith Jarrett" is conventional jazz wisdom perhaps, but worth repeating. Bley's expansive and unfettered approach to the keyboard (acoustic and electric) has provided a viable alternative for generations of artists seeking a creative path beyond the kinetic tendencies of Bley's principle peer, Cecil Taylor.
Bley, now 75, made his recording debut with Charlie Parker in 1953. Exploring an endless variety of aesthetic concepts and instrumental line-ups over the years, he has developed a visionary approach to instrumentation and concepts of accompaniment. The past two decades have found him focusing on intimate ...read more
Sam Rivers / Ben Street / Kresten Osgood Violet Violets Stunt Records Stunt 2005
As he enters his 80s, Sam Rivers has accomplished the remarkable feat of remaining creatively viable over the course of a 45-plus year career. A free jazz improviser before free jazz improvisation had been given a name, Rivers was sort of the odd man out on the Blue Note roster during the straight-ahead days of its golden period. However, he remained true to the free jazz ethic, went on to spearhead the loft jazz movement in ...read more
Since this group's first CD was called Purple Violets, what would be more appropriately redundant than naming the sequel Violet Violets? The legendary Sam Rivers did it again--actually both CD's are a result of the same great session, and this is another one without a dull moment. The lineup is the same, except vibraphonist Bryan Carrott is not featured on these tracks.
The young and very talented Danish drummer Kresten Osgood suggested this project to the Danish Stunt jazz label. Other results of Osgood's initiatives have included gigs and/or recordings with Oliver Lake and Dr Lonnie Smith.
The ...read more
Sam Rivers has the energy of an old Taoist master. On his infrequent trips to Los Angeles, he's relaxed after gigs by mixing it up with local musicians all night long. One such after hours session resulted in Vista, with Adam Rudolph and Harris Eisenstadt. A night in Denmark resulted in Purple Violets, a collection of duets, trios, and quartets featuring Ben Street on bass, Kresten Osgood on drums, and occasionally Bryan Carrott on vibes. Rivers runs in good company--his gorgeous, evocative tone intact on tenor, soprano, and flute. His unique musical vision still mysterious and accessible, and his technical ...read more