Jazz fans searching for a quintessential forward-thinking artist should look no further than the musical musings of Mr. Greg Osby. He's an artist who will not be satisfied with the status quo. Distinguished as an alto saxophone stylist, his voice is unique and easily recognizable among the masses. His recordings of the past few years have all been modern exercises in jazz music that are entertaining, cerebral, and illuminating. As any successful visionary, he has surrounded himself with like-minded individuals who continue to push the envelope of jazz; such as piano extraordinaire Jason Moran and vibraphonist Stefon Harris. His previous recording Symbols of Light (A Solution), which implemented a string quartet into his eclectic mix, was one of 2001's top jazz picks.
Inner Circle continues on the same high level that Osby has been operating at throughout his career. His music is progressively expanding into new boundaries on the ubiquitous jazz theme. It swings, grooves and moves with a distinctive style. The recording features Osby originals with covers by Euro-Pop sensation Bjork and famous bassist Charles Mingus. The title Inner Circle could easily refer to one of the tightest set of young musicians paving the jazz path today. The musicians have been featured on recordings by Jason Moran and Stefon Harris. Bassist Taurus Mateen and drummer Eric Harland comprise one of the most dynamic and talented rhythm sections on the scene today. Osby and Moran have formed a unique and wonderful symbiosis over the past few years that allows for freedom and expression with wide possibilities. Stefon Harris' vibe work just keeps getting better. All the compositons are creative with odd patterns and complex arrangements that never leave the listener too far, and will also encourage a deeper appreciation for the art form. The many highlights include the circuitous and hypnotic "Fragment Decoding" and the brilliant "Inner Circle Principle" with its memorable solos expressed by each musician. With Osby at the helm, one can only anticipate the next move in his forward progression.
Another top pick for 2002.
Track Listing: 1:Entruption 2:Stride Logic 3:Diary Of The Same Dream
4:Equalatogram 5:All Neon Like 6:Fragmatic Decoding
7:The Inner Circle Principle 8:Sons Of The Confidential
9:Self-Portrait In Three Colors
Personnel: Greg Osby: Alto Saxophone; Jason Moran: Piano
Stefon Harris: Vibraphone; Tarus Mateen: Bass;
Eric Harland: Drums
Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone
Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone. Feet in the dirt, or barefoot on a stage with sequins--it's soul beats in my chest.
I was first exposed to jazz while others listened to surf music in the '50s and '60s, it was Monk, Miles, Satchmo and Ella, Rosemary Clooney and Julie London followed. Margaret Whiting, Les McCann, Willie Bobo, Andy Simpkins, Snooky Young, Bill Basie and Helen Humes. The first time I heard Topsy, Take 2, I about passed out at the age of ten.
I've hung with Les McCann who more than 30 years after our first meeting became my duet partner on my CD, Don't Go To Strangers. Karen Hernandez from the start, Jack Le Compte on drums, Lou Shoch on bass, Steve Rawlins as my arranger and pianist, Grant Geissman - guitar genius, Nolan Shaheed, Richard Simon, and more. The big boys. My Red Hot Papas. The best show I ever attended was...
I met Helen Humes first back in 1981 and helped turn one Playboy Jazz Festival night into her tribute, bring the Basie Band to stage, her joy boys. Before she took the stage for the last time to sing, If I could Be With You One Hour Tonight thousands of copies of the newspaper I wrote for carried her story. It was kismet, her being held by Joe Williams backstage. Soon in my life were the great Linda Hopkins who told me I sang the song she wrote better than her, which floored me of course, the energizing Barbara Morrison and the stellar Marilyn Maye who guided me professionally.
My advice to new listeners... let your backbone slip and feel your body stripping back the barriers that prevent us from being one with the music.
Remember none of us are strangers, we just haven't met yet.