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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

University of Kentucky Jazz Ensemble: On the Road

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The University of Kentucky Jazz Ensemble was indeed On the Road in recent years, performing the first eight of the fourteen numbers on this impressive album at the 2017 Elmhurst College (IL) Jazz Festival, the others at the Montreux and North Sea (Netherlands) Jazz Festivals in 2011. If you are puzzled by the lack of audience response, that is because the performances heard here were recreated at UK's Singletary Center for the Performing Arts at the close of spring semester ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

University of Kentucky Mega-Sax Ensembles: Stinkin' 3.0

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If you dig the sound of a saxophone (alto, tenor and / or baritone), you've come to the right place. Unless we've miscounted, no less than nineteen saxophonists are present and accounted for on Stinkin' 3.0, which, it stands to reason, is the third CD recorded by the University of Kentucky's (well-named) Mega-Sax Ensembles. That includes guest artists Jeff Coffin, Tony Dagradi and Jeff Driskill but does not include director Miles Osland, a pretty fair saxophonist himself who limits his ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Dimartino/Osland Jazz Orchestra: Quotient

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Vince DiMartino was a distinguished professor of trumpet at the University of Kentucky's Jazz Studies Program for twenty years, and saxophonist Miles Osland is its current director. Together these two educators have collaborated for many years, founding of The DiMartino/Osland Jazz Orchestra. Through its performances and recordings, it has become a fixture in the central Kentucky area. Quotient is the group's first offering since Off The Charts (Sea Breeze, 2001), and from the sounds of this one, there is indisputable ...

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Free "Professor of Sax" Collection Merits a Gold Star

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As trash-talking goes, getting schooled by the “Professor Of Saxophone" is of questionable caliber. But Miles Osland is in no danger of losing face if words fail him--he wields a horn capable of bludgeoning even the most forward-thinking rebel punk in the classroom.

Some professors put students to sleep lecturing from the book, while others bring classes to their living rooms for political discussions accompanied by authentic homemade food from the region in question. Osland, in a collection ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Miles Osland Little Big Band: My Old Kentucky Home

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Miles Osland, an intrepid and versatile woodwind specialist who can stay in the pocket but prefers to scramble, unveils a number of facets of his capacious personality on My Old Kentucky Home, from bebop, blues and ballads to Caribbean, Latin, funk, boogie and beyond. Actually, nothing here is as “beyond” as Osland has been on other occasions. Instead, the Little Big Band abides relatively close to home with sunny interpretations of compositions by Cannonball Adderley (“Things Are Getting Better“), Gordon ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Miles Osland / Bill Anschell Trio: An Old Speckled Hen at Snapes Malting

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As Miles Osland says in the liner notes, Old Speckled Hen represents his “coming out” as a tenor saxophonist (he’s usually heard on alto, at least on recordings). As is the case on alto, he prefers doing things his way, assuming a stance that often is less than conventional if not unsparingly radical. While he never completely abandons customary melodies or rhythms, Osland stretches the boundaries in ways that might leave the more conservative listener unmoved. His “English Suite,” for ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Miles Osland: An Old Speckled Hen At Snapes Malting

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University of Kentucky jazz professor Miles Osland's third recording as a leader combines his lyrical saxophone phrasing with the rhythm section of pianist Bill Anschell, bassist Neal Starkey, and drummer Woody Williams. Anschell and Williams are two-thirds of Nnenna Freelon's latest rhythm section. The parallel between Osland's lyricism and the well-known singer's is worth considering: both are capable of displaying lovely sounds as well as stirring up the improvisational pot whenever they feel the need. The unusual title for this ...