187

Greg Osby: Public

Jeff Stockton By

Sign in to view read count
Greg Osby: Public I know the bills at Blue Note are paid by Miss Norah Jones, but when jazz fans are looking for the sound defined by the label in the '60s, it's comforting to know that the Blue Note legacy can be heard on the label itself. In 2004, Joe Lovano, Jason Moran and Greg Osby are all keepers of the flame. And no one over the course of the past decade has done more to nurture young talent and carve a career that blends innovation and taste than Osby. At 44 and something of an elder statesman, his blend of traditionalism and the avant-garde has placed him securely inside the jazz mainstream even while his own vision has occasionally worked to alter its course. With his second live recording (Osby's first, Banned in New York, was recorded and released by Blue Note in the style of a bootleg), the altoist showcases his working quintet touring in support of last year's St. Louis Shoes, with Rodney Green on drums, Robert Hurst on bass, newcomer Megumi Yonezawa on piano and Nicholas Payton on trumpet rounding out the band.

"Summertime" is only briefly recognizable, with Osby's rich alto snatching at the melody before handing it off to Payton. The trumpeter is seductive, alternating quick runs with dirty, drawn-out notes that integrate beautifully with the rhythm section. When Osby returns, his sinuous lines methodically draw the listener into the familiar tune. This is why we need the jazz musician: he hears the music in a way we weren't able to before. Osby's original "Visitation" starts with an extravagant opening statement by Yonezawa that gradually gives way to Osby's establishment of the melody and rapturous rendering of the composition as it plays out. The bebop classics "Bernie's Tune" and "Shaw Nuff" offer nimble individual runs by Osby and Payton, while together they interweave and bounce off each other like beads on granite.

To close the album, the Osby quintet teams with singer Joan Osborne in a version of "Lover Man." Osborne's vocal yearns and is utterly guileless, and Osby's support is sensitive and stirring. She's been around for fifteen years, but Osby just might have found the new Norah.

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Blue Note Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Tuesday Prayers" CD/LP/Track Review Tuesday Prayers
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: June 29, 2016
Read "Repeater" CD/LP/Track Review Repeater
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: December 5, 2016
Read "Night Music" CD/LP/Track Review Night Music
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 4, 2016
Read "Seven Storey Mountain V" CD/LP/Track Review Seven Storey Mountain V
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 28, 2016
Read "Intenso!" CD/LP/Track Review Intenso!
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 1, 2016
Read "Ever Up & Onward" CD/LP/Track Review Ever Up & Onward
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 24, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!