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Greg Osby

Hoping to capture the immediacy and raw energy of one of his live performances, Osby simply placed a mini-disc recorder on a table in front of the bandstand at New York City's Sweet Basil nightclub. Then he and his explosive young band -- and I do mean young; drummer Rodney Green is just 19 -- launched into an hour-long set of nonstop music. One microphone, no breaks between songs, no stage announcements -- just a solid hour of seamless, high-octane jazz. One of the most exciting improvisers around, Osby stretches out here on a set of standards by Ellington, Monk, Rollins, and Parker, plus one original. But don't expect to hear much that's familiar. The tunes are merely seeds for Osby's fast and furious improvisation. The young-gun rhythm section of Jason Moran on piano, Atsushi Osada on bass, and Green on drums keep things rolling at a full-throttle pace. This is jazz in its purest form: spontaneous, direct, and unfiltered. ~ Joel Roberts