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Art Forum (1996)

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Lonnie Plaxico

Greg Osby, who has recorded in a variety of settings (sometimes using hip-hop rhythms and rap), sticks to acoustic jazz on this relaxed, dry and often melancholy set, performing seven originals and two standards. In addition to the basic quartet/quintet (which sometimes utilizes the vibes of Bryant Carrott), five other musicians (most notably the acoustic guitar of Marvin Sewell) add color to some of the ensembles. Osby (who also plays some fine soprano in a sound derived from Wayne Shorter) has long had a very original improvising style, and his subtle solos on the date are continually interesting, although pianist James Williams (in top form) sometimes steals honors. None of the originals have particularly memorable melodies, but this CD acts as a good introduction to Greg Osby's playing. ~ Scott Yanow