All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...


Paul Bley / Kresten Osgood: Florida

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
"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 acoustic sessions, much like this duet, which features young Danish drummer Kresten Osgood.

Ably supporting Sam Rivers on Purple Violets (Stunt, 2005) and Violet Violets (Stunt, 2005), the thirty year-old Osgood has also collaborated with Oliver Lake, John Tchicai and Dr. Lonnie Smith. His accompaniment here is sensitive, subtle, and far more reserved than his interplay with Rivers.

A mix of solo pieces and duets, Florida is evenly split between Osgood and Bley, who each contribute three unaccompanied compositions. Osgood's percussion workouts are colorful investigations of texture and dynamics. Handsomely melodic, "True Blue and Gold" uses simmering percussive accents to invoke a dreamy kaleidoscopic sound world.

Bley's singular delivery is typically economic, melding unorthodox cadences with impressionistic harmonies. "Darkness" and "Backlash" demonstrate his confident pacing, drifting between tension and romance with leisurely timing. The linear propulsion of "Fluid Head" is more immediate, conjuring pensive lyricism from succinct angular variations.

Four longer pieces feature the duo's attentive listening and cautious interaction. "Meeting of the Minds" is ascetic abstraction, "Told You So" traffics in fragmentary thematic interplay and "Arches" paints a plaintive melody. Marvelously irreverent, their rollicking deconstruction of "All The Things You Are" is an album highlight.

Florida is subtle and abstract; at times beautiful, at others willfully difficult, its rewards are attainable for those willing to invest the time.

Visit Paul Bley and Kresten Osgood on the web.

Track Listing: Darkness; Light; Fluid Head; Arches; The Beaten Track; Told You So; Meeting Of The Minds; All The Things You Are; True Blue And Gold; Backlash.

Personnel: Paul Bley: piano; Kresten Osgood: drums.

Title: Florida | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: ILK Music


comments powered by Disqus

Best of / Year End
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Play Blue

Play Blue

ECM Records






ESP Disk



ESP Disk

About Time

About Time

Justin Time Records


Related Articles

Read This City CD/LP/Track Review
This City
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 24, 2018
Read More Songs About Error And Shame CD/LP/Track Review
More Songs About Error And Shame
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 24, 2018
Read West Coast Trio CD/LP/Track Review
West Coast Trio
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: March 24, 2018
Read Sun Embassy CD/LP/Track Review
Sun Embassy
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 24, 2018
Read The Pocket Philharmonic Orchestra, Peter Stangel – Beethoven Revisited Symphonies 1-9 CD/LP/Track Review
The Pocket Philharmonic Orchestra, Peter Stangel –...
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 24, 2018
Read Lala Belu CD/LP/Track Review
Lala Belu
by Chris May
Published: March 23, 2018
Read "25th Anniversary Project" CD/LP/Track Review 25th Anniversary Project
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: February 12, 2018
Read "Flesh & Bone" CD/LP/Track Review Flesh & Bone
by Troy Collins
Published: August 22, 2017
Read "Vista" CD/LP/Track Review Vista
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 29, 2018
Read "Happy Juice" CD/LP/Track Review Happy Juice
by David A. Orthmann
Published: July 31, 2017
Read "Unleashed" CD/LP/Track Review Unleashed
by John Sharpe
Published: January 20, 2018
Read "Putting Off Death" CD/LP/Track Review Putting Off Death
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 17, 2017