It has been 20 years since Saxophonist’s Gary Thomas and Greg Osby have performed together. On Thomas’ new CD “Pariah’s Pariah, Thomas and Osby echo the same intensity and verve that was a hallmark of their meritorious efforts with the great drummer Jack DeJohnette and his marvelous “Special Edition” band. It is fairly evident that these young master’s have honed individual and uniquely identifiable styles which to a large degree is a high honor considering the Post-Bop resurgence of today’s sometimes mediocre and derivative “Young Lion” movement. Gary Thomas’ “Pariah’s Pariah” is a tour-de-force and much credit goes to the powerhouse rhythm section of Michael Formanek (b) and John Arnold (d).
“Who’s In Control?” commences with a thunderous introduction by the Superstar rhythm section of Michael Formanek and John Arnold. After a few choruses Thomas’ muscular “chops of doom” rapid fire attack surfaces. Thomas is a machine gun spitting bullets while Osby follows suit in similar fashion on Alto Sax. Osby tap-dances and darts all over his Alto as the question arises; “Who’s In Control?” Thomas and Osby square off in glowing fashion while the title track “Pariah’s Pariah” finds Bassist Michael Formanek pivoting the rhythm section with cunning aplomb augmented by resplendent and aurally enticing acoustic resonance. Here, Thomas picks up the Flute trading pleasant choruses with Osby as the rhythm section chugs along like a freight train generating an appropriate heavy handed bottom end to the flawless phrasing and execution of Thomas and Osby. “Vanishing Time” features some intuitive cymbal work and slick rimshots by John Arnold who knows when to step up the pace while adding the appropriate rhythmic nuance to the muscular phrasings and brisk thematic developments by this distinguished Sax section. Thomas’ full bodied and hard bop-ish Tenor sound serves as a perfect match for Greg Osby’s light-as-a-feather and fluid Alto licks. “Everything Is Relative” features Thomas and Osby stating choruses as if they were proclamations or edicts supported by thrilling sequences of call and response.
“Pariah’s Pariah” is a superb showcase for these two Saxophone giants. These gentlemen along with the astounding rhythm section of Michael Formanek and John Arnold have produced a powerful recording that instills hope and assurance for the future of Modern Jazz. Stefan Winter of Winter & Winter continues his superb track record of producing quality product that is essential listening for the serious Jazz collector/audiophile. “Pariah’s Pariah” hits the high mark and won’t disappoint. Highly Recommended.
Personnel: Gary Thomas; Tenor Sax, Flute: Greg Osby; Alto Sax: Michael Formanek; Acoustic Bass: John Arnold; Drums
I was first exposed to Jazz when a couple of dear friends of mine turned me onto it around 1971. I was already into Progressive music, R n' B, Soul, Motown, Latin Rock and other styles that were a great ladder to Jazz
I was first exposed to Jazz when a couple of dear friends of mine turned me onto it around 1971. I was already into Progressive music, R n' B, Soul, Motown, Latin Rock and other styles that were a great ladder to Jazz.
Being a Musician myself, (Lead Guitar/Bass Guitar), I studied at the Dick Grove School of Music with Dick Grove, Jeff Richman and Lee Ritenour. This was around '84-'85. I started playing the Guitar in November 1967. Playing Guitar came quite naturally to me thank goodness. Though I spent hours upon hours practicing while my school buddies were doing Sports.
It was in the early '70s that I really got into Jazz, Jazz Rock, Jazz Fusion and World Music. Seeing Weather Report, Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Larry Carlton, Steely Dan, John McLaughlin and the Mahavishnu Orchestra, RTF, Herbie Hancock and the Headhunters, VSOP, Freddie Hubbard and so many, many more amazing artists opened my eyes to the beauty and eloquent nature of Jazz. I really love the brilliant ensemble playing that is in Jazz!!
When I play and write music, it blends so many style together. Many fans ask me why my playing sounds so jazzy. It's because I understand Blue Notes, the phrasing, the tonality, time signatures and more. I can also play Rock, Folk, Soul, R n' B and other styles too. I seem to gravitate more and more as I get older to a jazzier style. Currently I'm 62 years old. I have released 2 CDs world-wide. Working on my 3rd.
I also teach Guitar/Bass/Music Theory to my students. They range from 6 years old to much, much older. (I was hired by the City of Aurora, CO to teach ages 6-13 specifically). Currently I teach 41 children in 5 classes. Additionally another 7 private students.
My wife, Meesh, and I love Jazz dearly. It was one of the things that we share together!
Most of the people that I know today do not get jazz. I try to explain what to listen for, but many times the music of Jazz is a bit much for them. So be it.
In a nutshell, I live, breath and listen to Music 24/7. No TV except the Food Channel and Weather.
I love John Kelman's articles. They are so insightful and well-constructed!
Thank you all for doing what you do.