280

Greg Osby: Symbols of Light (A Solution)

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Greg Osby: Symbols of Light (A Solution) Strings and woodwinds make an alluring jazz combination. On his most recent exploration into the possibilities of improvised music, adventurous alto and soprano saxophonist Greg Osby enlists a string quartet to complement the conventional jazz rhythm section.

Osby has as an essential goal the organic integration of strings into the program. And the pieces that exude the most distinct sound are the ones where the strings play a primary role in melodic development. “Repay In Kind” is the strongest example on the set: here the strings exclusively control the melody—they state the opening theme and closing reprise. On “The Keep”, they act as a second lead instrument and participate with Osby’s horn to express the rhythmically bright melody. At other points the strings revert to a subordinate role, adding harmonized support.

Whether the strings contribute directly to thematic development or merely provide atmosphere, Osby’s acerbic voice remains the focus of the music. On his solo on “The Keep” he weaves sinuous notes into extended phrases that reflect a smooth development of ideas. It is a pleasure to the listener to experience Osby’s continuous stream of extemporization. He chooses shorter, angular phrases on “This is Bliss” pushing his alto to emit on the one hand low buzzes, on the other, high shrieks.

Despite the addition of an array of new instrumentation, the format of the program remains remarkably consistent: the ensemble establishes a melodic structure then Osby rips into improvisation with strings and rhythm section backing. On no selection does Osby allow the strings an opportunity to solo. Given that improvisation is a defining element of jazz music, this experiment does not realize the full potential that pairing a Western European classical tradition with jazz can afford.


Track Listing: 3 For Civility; Repay in Kind;

Personnel: Greg Osby

Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Blue Note Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Streams" CD/LP/Track Review Streams
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 2, 2016
Read "Pássaros: The Foundation of the Island" CD/LP/Track Review Pássaros: The Foundation of the Island
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: July 6, 2016
Read "Cada Fuego Es El Primero" CD/LP/Track Review Cada Fuego Es El Primero
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 20, 2016
Read "Montage" CD/LP/Track Review Montage
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 22, 2016
Read "Vyamanikal" CD/LP/Track Review Vyamanikal
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 24, 2016
Read "Forgiveness Suite" CD/LP/Track Review Forgiveness Suite
by John Sharpe
Published: November 15, 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!