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...

248

Mike Osborne: Force Of Nature

Martin Longley By

Sign in to view read count
Late English alto saxophonist Mike Osborne, whose work represented the pinnacle of British avant jazz, sadly retired back in 1982 as a result of mental health problems. The discovery of previously unheard material is therefore particularly exciting, especially when its standard is high enough to preserve the reedman's best playing form.

This disc features live recordings of two different quartet lineups, both of them having Osborne teamed with trumpeter Dave Holdsworth. The opener, "Ducking & Diving," sprawls over an epic 42 minutes, from a performance at the 1980 Kolner Jazzhaus Festival in Germany. Osborne doesn't tarry, charging off into an exhaustive solo virtually straight away, with bassist Marcio Mattos kind of soloing too, maintaining a pulsing miasma alongside drummer Brian Abrahams. Then Holdsworth spurts, making a complete shift closer to something approaching the jazz tradition. Abrahams develops a bouncing beat that's almost a jungle precursor, then all goes quiet midway, before some odd structures form, such as the brief stretch of rocking-out rhythm five minutes before the conclusion. Osborne and Holdsworth began building their close rapport while working together with Mike Westbrook in the early '60s, right at the beginning of their careers. The trumpeter remembered this Koln gig as a personal pinnacle, but until 2007 (the year of Osborne's demise) he hadn't realized that it had been recorded.

Despite Holdsworth's memories, the other two pieces, recorded in London a year later, are arguably even more gripping. Here, Tony Marsh is on drums and Paul Bridge plays bass, the latter thrusting with an electric hardness, well up in the mix. "Journey's End" (8 minutes) and "All Night Long" (12 minutes) are more compact, horns tussling simultaneously, with seething urgency. The quartet slams with punk urgency into the latter tune, hurtling through a twinned theme with not a second wasted. Osborne is tensed expression personified, while Holdsworth is jetting off competitive flares. These were the days and now there is some sort of partial memory at the fingertips.

Track Listing: Ducking & Diving; Journey's End; All Night Long.

Personnel: Mike Osborne: alto saxophone; Dave Holdsworth: trumpet; Marcio Mattos: bass; Paul Bridge: bass; Brian Abrahams, Tony Marsh: drums.

Title: Force Of Nature | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Reel Recordings

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Barriers Album Reviews
Barriers
By Karl Ackermann
February 16, 2019
Read Fractal Guitar Album Reviews
Fractal Guitar
By John Kelman
February 16, 2019
Read The Early Bird Gets Album Reviews
The Early Bird Gets
By Mark Corroto
February 16, 2019
Read The Newest Sound You Never Heard Album Reviews
The Newest Sound You Never Heard
By Jerome Wilson
February 16, 2019
Read Think Big: Like Me Album Reviews
Think Big: Like Me
By Paul Naser
February 16, 2019
Read Melodic Ornette Coleman: Piano Works XIII Album Reviews
Melodic Ornette Coleman: Piano Works XIII
By Karl Ackermann
February 15, 2019
Read Free Fall Album Reviews
Free Fall
By Peter Hoetjes
February 15, 2019