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...

250

Mike Osborne: Force Of Nature

Nic Jones By

Sign in to view read count
The mercurial nature of alto saxophonist Mike Osborne's musical personality was arguably a difficult thing to capture on record, but here it's caught in all its glory despite the slightly muddy fidelity. Any degree to which he might have been in thrall to both Jackie McLean and Ornette Coleman was no longer an issue by the time these performances were captured back in 1980 and 1981, and the music has wings and a method of flight entirely its own.

"Ducking & Diving" makes the case for that over the course of forty two minutes. The quartet on occasion falls back upon melodies familiar enough to be hackneyed but only in the cause of recharging their creative batteries. Indeed it could almost be argued that they do so by way of wry comment on the level of creativity happening elsewhere. Osborne's understanding of pitch was always sure by comparison with McLean and the nature of his relationship to drummer Brian Abrahams on this one is on a par with the one he enjoyed with Louis Moholo. The very 'altoness' of his instrumental conception is true enough to render any thought of doubling as absurd and in that respect trumpeter Dave Holdsworth's more reflective, perhaps measured approach is the ideal foil.

By comparison of course the less than eight minutes of "Journey's End" is a relatively brief flight. It's long enough however for bassist Paul Bridge and drummer Tony Marsh to bring a different collective dynamic to the music, with Marsh's hyperactive bass drum not so much anchoring the music as contributing to a polyrhythmic foundation for Osborne and Holdsworth to fly over. If anything Holdsworth is less measured here, with a perhaps conscious smearing of his lines adding a further dimension to proceedings.

In its echoing of one of Coleman's lines "All Night Long" hints at a similarly ambivalent link with the post-bop tradition, and both Osborne and Holdworth show how 'outside' they are in those terms in their flights. Osborne in particular sounds agitated here, as if at one and the same time he's impatient with traditional turns yet also in thrall to them. The creative tension that suggests is a hallmark of this entire set.

Track Listing: Ducking & Diving; Journey

Personnel: Mike Osborne: alto sax; Dave Holdsworth: trumpet; Marcio Mattos: bass (1); Paul Bridge: bass (2, 3); Brian Abrahams: drums (1); Tony Marsh: drums (2, 3).

Title: Force Of Nature | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Reel Recordings

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

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

Related Articles

Read Nexus Album Reviews
Nexus
By Jakob Baekgaard
May 23, 2019
Read The Second Coming Album Reviews
The Second Coming
By Daniel Barbiero
May 23, 2019
Read Luminária Album Reviews
Luminária
By John Sharpe
May 23, 2019
Read Jazz Band/Rock Band/Dance Band Album Reviews
Jazz Band/Rock Band/Dance Band
By Jerome Wilson
May 23, 2019
Read When Will The Blues Leave Album Reviews
When Will The Blues Leave
By Karl Ackermann
May 22, 2019
Read Infinite Itinerant Album Reviews
Infinite Itinerant
By Geno Thackara
May 22, 2019
Read Pulcino Album Reviews
Pulcino
By Nicholas F. Mondello
May 22, 2019