Reviews that mention Mike Osborne

September 26, 2015

Mike Osborne

Dawn
Cuneiform RUNE 392

Phil Seamen

The Late Great

SWP 037

Participating in the transition from Jazz to Free Jazz were two British musicians who physically or mentally didn’t survive the 1970s. Individually, alto saxophonist Mike Osborne (1941-2007) and drummer Phil Seamen (1926-1972), participated in many of the define sessions that marked the definition of Jazz in the United Kingdom as a separate, non-American idiom in the 1950s and 1960s (Seamen) and the 1960s and 1970s (Osborne) and these CDs collect some of their most notable work. MORE

July 11, 2014

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Procession (Live at Toulouse)
Ogun OGCD 40

By Ken Waxman

The best jazz is often created through the synthesis of conflicting, sometime clashing musical impulses. So it was with the work of South African pianist Chris McGregor (1936-1990), whose all-star Blue Notes band of the ‘60s combined hard bop and (South) African musical influences. McGregor’s references multiplied during his European expatriate years when he created the Brotherhood of Breath (BOB) big band. On these live late ‘70s performances, sinuous kwela melodies and bop’s breakneck speed are part of the band’s disciplined Basie-like swing, yet at the same time sound extensions introduced by affiliated European free players have become more apparent in the writing and playing. MORE

July 6, 2014

Harry Miller

Different Times, Different Places
Ogun OGCD 041

Via flamboyant performances from 1973 and 1976, Different Times, Different Places celebrates a particularly fertile period in British Free Jazz by unearthing hitherto unissued performances by two top-flight combos under the leadership of bassist Harry Miller. Importantly, the CD also adds material to the catalogue of three players who have since died. South African-born Miller (1941-1983), killed in an auto accident in the Netherlands; alto saxophonist Mike Osborne (1941-2007), whose mental illness prevented him from playing after the early 1980s; and pianist Chris McGregor (1936-1990), another South African, whose London-based Brotherhood of Breath (BOB) big band was a meeting ground for advanced African and European jazzers. MORE

March 3, 2014

S.O.S.

Looking for the Next One
Cuneiform RUNE 360/361

Robert Marcel Lepage

Le lait maternel.

Ambiances Magnétiques AM 212

Keefe Jackson's Likely So

A Round Goal

Delmark DE 5009

Double Trio de Clarinettes

Itinéraire Bis

Between the Lines BTLCHR 71231

Something In The Air: Reed Blends.

By Ken Waxman.

Reed sections have been part of jazz’s performing vernacular since its earliest days. But only with the freedom that arose with modern improvised music in the 1960s were the woodwinds able to stand on their own. In the right hands, with the right ideas, a group consisting only of saxophones and/or clarinets can produce satisfying sounds that don’t need the intervention of a rhythm section or even brass for additional colors. All of the fine discs here demonstrate that. MORE

December 8, 2013

Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath

Procession: Live At Toulouse
Ogun OGCD 39

Evan Parker/Barry Guy/Paul Lytton

Live at Maya Recordings Festival

NoBusiness NBCD 55

Butcher/Buck/Mayas/Stangl

Plume

Unsounds 35u

Michel Doneda/Joris Rühl

Linge

Umlaut Records umfrcd 07

Lori Freedman & John Heward

On No On

Mode Avant 16

Matt Mitchell

Fiction

Pi Recordings PI50

Kidd Jordan & Hamid Drake
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December 23, 2008

Graham Collier

Deep Dark Blue Centre/ Portraits/The Alternate Mosaics
BGO CD 822

Mike Osborne Trio

All Night Long

Ogun OGCD 029

While most of the attention in Britain and overseas in the late 1960s, early 1970s was focused on progressive rock and pop music coming from England, far more notable sounds were being developed outside of the mainstream. Although the most far-reaching of these advances may turn out to be the non-idiomatic improv advanced by the likes of Derek Bailey and Evan Parker, two other strains deserve attention.

One, represented here by Graham Collier’s session for septet and sextets, collected from three different LPs, expressed the depths of the composer-arranger’s art. Its variations on color, texture, space and voicing cemented Collier’s reputation in that tricky hyphenate’s top ranks. All Night Long on the other hand, is a free-for-all blowing session from three musicians who while fellow travellers, were not fundamental believers in Bailey-Parker-styled lower-case pure improv. MORE

December 23, 2008

Mike Osborne Trio

All Night Long
Ogun OGCD 029

Graham Collier

Deep Dark Blue Centre/ Portraits/The Alternate Mosaics

BGO CD 822

While most of the attention in Britain and overseas in the late 1960s, early 1970s was focused on progressive rock and pop music coming from England, far more notable sounds were being developed outside of the mainstream. Although the most far-reaching of these advances may turn out to be the non-idiomatic improv advanced by the likes of Derek Bailey and Evan Parker, two other strains deserve attention. MORE

September 18, 2008

The Chris McGregor Group

Very Urgent
Fledg'ling Records FD-3059

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Brotherhood

Fledg'ling Records FD-3063

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Fledg'ling Records FD-3062

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Eclipse At Dawn

Cuneiform Rune 262

Nearly 20 years after his death the musical importance of South African-born, pianist Chris McGregor and his pioneering multi-cultural big band Brotherhood of Breath (BOB) that operated both in the United Kingdom and the Continent is being repeatedly reconfirmed. MORE

September 18, 2008

The Chris McGregor Group

Very Urgent
Fledg'ling Records FD-3059

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Brotherhood

Fledg'ling Records FD-3063

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Fledg'ling Records FD-3062

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Eclipse At Dawn

Cuneiform Rune 262

Nearly 20 years after his death the musical importance of South African-born, pianist Chris McGregor and his pioneering multi-cultural big band Brotherhood of Breath (BOB) that operated both in the United Kingdom and the Continent is being repeatedly reconfirmed. MORE

September 18, 2008

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Eclipse At Dawn
Cuneiform Rune 262

The Chris McGregor Group

Very Urgent

Fledg'ling Records FD-3059

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Brotherhood

Fledg'ling Records FD-3063

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath

Fledg'ling Records FD-3062

Nearly 20 years after his death the musical importance of South African-born, pianist Chris McGregor and his pioneering multi-cultural big band Brotherhood of Breath (BOB) that operated both in the United Kingdom and the Continent is being repeatedly reconfirmed. MORE

May 18, 2008

Sven-Åke Johansson, Moderne Nordeuropäische Dorfmusik

Berlin Symfonie MIND1968 - 72
Olof Bright Editions OBCD 14-15

Selwyn Lissack’s Friendship Next of Kin

Facets of the Univers

DMG ARC 702

Operating in the shade of rock music’s hegemony and somewhat overshadowed by American experiments, in the late 1960s-early 1970s European-based improvisers were creating their own answers to the question of how to forge modern music.

As these little-known period CDs led by drummer-conceptual artists demonstrate, these responses could take a multitude of forms. Better known of the leaders is Swede Sven Åke Johansson, a long-time Berlin resident, whose affiliation with the avant-garde ranges from his early participation in saxophonist Peter Brötzmann’s bands –including the seminal Machine Gun session – to his position today when he still plays with youngish experimenters like trumpeter Axel Dörner. His art is a sideline. MORE

May 18, 2008

Selwyn Lissack’s Friendship Next of Kin

Facets of the Univers
DMG ARC 702

Sven-Åke Johansson, Moderne Nordeuropäische Dorfmusik

Berlin Symfonie MIND1968 - 72

Olof Bright Editions OBCD 14-15

Operating in the shade of rock music’s hegemony and somewhat overshadowed by American experiments, in the late 1960s-early 1970s European-based improvisers were creating their own answers to the question of how to forge modern music.

As these little-known period CDs led by drummer-conceptual artists demonstrate, these responses could take a multitude of forms. Better known of the leaders is Swede Sven Åke Johansson, a long-time Berlin resident, whose affiliation with the avant-garde ranges from his early participation in saxophonist Peter Brötzmann’s bands –including the seminal Machine Gun session – to his position today when he still plays with youngish experimenters like trumpeter Axel Dörner. His art is a sideline. MORE

August 21, 2006

HARRY MILLER’S ISIPINGO

Which Way Now
Cuneiform Records Rune 233

By Ken Waxman

Free Bop with a touch with kwela is probably the best way to describe this CD of never-before-released tracks from bassist Harry Miller’s 1975 Isipingo sextet. But this high quality session consisting of four of Miller’s compositions is more than that. It adds another document to the underrepresented story of South African/British improv.

Starting in the 1960s, usually fed up or fleeing apartheid, a variety of South African musicians abandoned their homeland and set up shop in the United Kingdom. Soon they interacted with some of the more advanced British players to develop a variant of Hard Bop mixed with transformed homeland melodies and touches of Free Jazz. Most – including trumpeter Mongezi Feza and drummer Louis Moholo featured here – were graduates of Chris McGregor’s Blue Notes combo. MORE

January 17, 2005

Mike Osborne Trio & Quintet

Border crossing & Marcel’s Muse
Ogun

Joe Harriott Quintet
Swings High
Cadillac

By Ken Waxman
January 17, 2005

All during the 1960s and 1970s, a group of forward-thinking British improvisers was working on different strategies to move their music past what was then considered modern jazz. Some, like guitarist Derek Bailey and saxophonist Evan Parker, emphasized their distance from jazz to create irregularly pulsed so-called Free Improvisation.

Others, who didn’t want as radical a break from the tradition, evolved a free bop style that put the advances of American innovators like Ornette Coleman, Charles Mingus and John Coltrane into a rapidly paced framework. Years later, the advances of non-representational practitioners like Parker are better remembered than the experiments of the modifiers. Of course it helps that many of the free musicians -- and their Continental colleagues -- are still alive and playing impressively today. MORE

June 21, 2004

CHRIS MCGREGOR’S BROTHERHOOD OF BREATH

Bremen To Bridgwater
Cuneiform Records Rune 182/183

Count Basie of the Townships could have been the late South African pianist Chris McGregor’s nickname. That is, if his Brotherhood of Breath (BOB) big band, featured on this two-CD set of 1970s performances, didn’t add the colorations of Charles Mingus’ bigger groups and suggestions of Hank Crawford’s arrangements for Ray Charles to its unique mix of modern jazz and South African jive.

Earlier, apartheid era officials went out of their way to discourage the white pianist from mixing with black musicians. Which is why Capetown’s McGregor (1936-1990) and his black fellow players in the Blue Notes sextet ended up living permanently in Europe after 1964. MORE

April 26, 2004

KENNY WHEELER

Song for Someone
psi 04.01

Epitome of the polite, quiet Canadian, trumpeter/flugelhornist Kenny Wheeler has now lived in Great Britain for more than a half century. During that time he’s gone from playing in large dance and bebop bands to working with international free music ensembles to creating a modified synthesis of all those influences as his own music.

This direct reissue of a 1973 LP may have been when it was first released the most conventional item on what was then guitarist Derek Bailey’s and saxophonist Evan Parker’s Incus label. Wheeler had already played free music with drummer John Stevens and was soon to begin an association with experimenters like American reedist Anthony Braxton and the German-based Globe Unity Orchestra. But except for a couple of tracks, the pieces he wrote for this date mostly meld his big band past with his moody, reflective streak. MORE

October 29, 2001

CHRIS MCGREGOR & THE BROTHERHOOD OF BREATH

Travelling Somewhere
Cuneiform Records Rune 152

Illustrating one of the appealing, yet little explored, tributaries of improvised music, this nearly 80 minute blast from the past presents British-South African pianist Chris McGregor's 12-piece Brotherhood of Breath (BOB) recorded live in a 1973 German gig.

Outgrowth of the racially mixed Blue Notes combo that, because of Apartheid, as forced to relocate from Africa to England in the early 1960s, BOB was an altogether more expansive project. With a nucleus of the original combo -- trumpeter Mongezi Feza, alto saxophonist Dudu Pukwana and drummer Louis Moholo as well as McGregor -- it welcomed other immigrants like South African bassist Harry Miller and Barbadian trumpeter Harry Beckett to the fold, and filled out the band with the cream of MORE

April 29, 2001

JOHN STEVENS

Live at The Plough
Ayler Records aylCD-007

Two of the most fervent of England's first generation free jazz/improvised music experimenters, drummer John Stevens (1940-1994) and alto saxophonist Mike Osborne (b.1941) aren't as well known as they should be for a variety of reasons.

Stevens, who for 30 odd years until his death directed various versions of the Spontaneous Music Ensemble (SME), one of the seminal experiments in defining BritImprov, was a famously irascible character. A chameleon who could be playing super sensitive near soundless improv with partners like saxophonist John Butcher or trumpeter Kenny Wheeler one day and raucous jazz rock with lesser musicians the next, Stevens managed to alienate as many players as he inspired. More clearly jazzy, Osborne, who worked over the years in circumstances as varied as Mike Westbrook's big band and an all saxophone group with John Surman, was one of the U.K.'s "farthest out" freebopers in the 1970s. Unfortunately part of that "outness" resulted from a steadily worsening mental illness, which finally forced him to cease playing about a year after this live session was taped in 1979.

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