248

Mike Osborne: Force Of Nature

Martin Longley By

Sign in to view read count
Mike Osborne: Force Of Nature
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.

Album information

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

Post a comment about this album

Tags

View events near New York City
Jazz Near New York City
Events Guide | Venue Guide | Get App | More...

Shop Amazon

More

Read Prism
Prism
Conference Call
Read Conspiracy
Conspiracy
Terje Rypdal
Read Freya
Freya
Tineke Postma
Read Unearth
Unearth
New Hermitage
Read Deep Resonance
Deep Resonance
Ivo Perelman
Read Sun Trance
Sun Trance
Markus Reuter
Read Lies
Lies
Clemens Kuratle Murmullo

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.