115

The Greg Osby Four

C. Andrew Hovan By

Sign in to view read count
A La Jazz Rendezvous 2001
The Cleveland Play House
Cleveland, Ohio

Since 1984, when he hooked up with Steve Coleman to form the M-BASE Collective, Greg Osby has been at the forefront of some of the more exploratory movements of the modern jazz era. He has released eleven albums as a leader for Blue Note to date, including collaborations with Joe Lovano and Andrew Hill. Currently, his latest endeavor for the label is due this summer and to support the album he’s now in the midst of a two-month tour with his quartet. Rounding out an exemplary cast of young artists, Osby fronts this group with fellow Blue Note leader Jason Moran on piano, Calvin Jones on bass, and Marvin Broween on drums.
The fourth and final performance of the A La Jazz Rendezvous concert series held at the Cleveland Play House, Osby’s quartet hit the stage of the Bolton Theatre for a Sunday afternoon performance before a very small, but appreciative audience. What became evident very early on was that Broween’s mesmerizing work was crucial to the overall development of each piece, confirming that old axiom that an ensemble is only as strong as its drummer. Osby knows how to tell a story with his horn and in addition to a very sweet tone, his mellifluous forays help make him a challenging player who is also able to connect with an audience. The same could really be said for Moran, a very versatile musician whose range takes in everything from funk to Cecil Taylor-like abstractions.
Osby and crew leaped into the first set without much fanfare, as each tune segued to the next. There were no announcements, save for Osby’s obligatory band introductions at the end of the set. Although his own originals were certainly memorable, Osby did an exceptional job of redefining a few standards. “Night and Day” made the most of Moran’s low register chords, creatively reharmonized, and a lively bossa tempo. A Blue Note gem from another era, Lou Donaldson’s “Alligator Boogaloo” found Osby preachin’ with gusto and Moran opening things up with a dense and tempestuous solo display.
The second set hit another fine balance between originals and standards. “Jitterbug Waltz” had Osby giving things a different twist by laying slightly behind the beat. During the saxophonist’s solo, Broween’s displaced triplets created a varied and highly interactive background, which in turn enticed Osby. Closing out the afternoon, Monk’s “Bye-Ya” and Lee Morgan’s “The Sidewinder” were choice items for this quartet, a highly integrated unit that certainly has to be one of the best groups Osby has assembled to date.


Shop

More Articles

Read Ted Ludwig Trio at Little Rock's South on Main Live Reviews Ted Ludwig Trio at Little Rock's South on Main
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 28, 2017
Read Brilliant Corners 2017 Live Reviews Brilliant Corners 2017
by Ian Patterson
Published: March 27, 2017
Read Dwiki Dharmawan's Pasar Klewer Plays Indonesia Live Reviews Dwiki Dharmawan's Pasar Klewer Plays Indonesia
by John Ephland
Published: March 25, 2017
Read "Bobby Hutcherson tribute at SFJAZZ Center" Live Reviews Bobby Hutcherson tribute at SFJAZZ Center
by David Becker
Published: January 24, 2017
Read "Katie Thiroux Quartet at Birdland" Live Reviews Katie Thiroux Quartet at Birdland
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 8, 2016
Read "Andy Milne and Dapp Theory at SOUTH Jazz Kitchen" Live Reviews Andy Milne and Dapp Theory at SOUTH Jazz Kitchen
by Mike Jacobs
Published: May 19, 2016
Read "Jazztopad 2016, Part 1" Live Reviews Jazztopad 2016, Part 1
by Henning Bolte
Published: December 24, 2016
Read "John Daversa Big Band at The Baked Potato" Live Reviews John Daversa Big Band at The Baked Potato
by Paul Naser
Published: June 3, 2016
Read "Keith Oxman Quartet at Nocturne" Live Reviews Keith Oxman Quartet at Nocturne
by Douglas Groothuis
Published: March 19, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

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!