Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Kresten Osgood - Kresten Osgood Quintet Plays Jazz (ILK Music 2018)

Danish drummer Kresten Osgood brings a great deal of wit and energy to this very well played double album consisting of songs by American jazz and blues stalwarts. He is accompanied by a very talented band including Erik Kimestad on trumpet, Mads Egetoft on saxophone, Jeppe Zeeberg on piano, and Matthias Petri on bass. They open this collection with  "Gazzeloni" has the choppy Eric Dolphy melody played with verve, and nice raw and scouring saxophone solo with firm drum and bass support, followed by a rippling piano feature across the keyboard, jagged and focused. Horns return to the melody, lead to take the tune out, concluding a fine performance. The uptempo brisk swinger "La Berthe" has brawny horns strutting through the theme, leading to a crisp trumpet solo backed by tight cymbals and piano comping. Hand off to saxophone for a bright and nimble solo section, springy bass showing the way, allowing the saxophone to dig deeper and lead the full band back to the starting point. "Crazy Witch Game" has a modern hard bop feel, with rich bass and light percussion supporting a punchy trumpet section, and the  full band swings bright and shiny like a new penny to the quick conclusion. Monk's crazy quilt masterpiece, "Brilliant Corners," with its indelible teme, is played with a hint of darkness, and moved from there into a fast paced improvisation. Playing with time, speeding up and slowing down, using smart soloing from saxophone, expertly played bass and drums and fearless piano playing, to make up an excellent performance. "Waterbabies" uses piano, bass and drums create opening for striding saxophone and trumpet, giving the music a freer sound that is more open to experimentation, as piano lays out for saxophone and trumpet to play with bass and drums, then supplying bare chords to the mix. Spacey percussion provides room for "Reincarnation of a Lovebird" to jump into a full bodied swing worthy of Mingus, running through the theme, swelling and abating and allowing the melody to guide them, before the saxophone reaches out on a gritty toned solo statement. Thick and resonant bass grounds the whole thing, while it's the band as a unit that impresses the most swaying grandly on the memorable theme. "Tchicai in Heaven" dedicated to saxophonist John Tchicai, the music surges tidally forward with bright horns over a nimble rhythm section, launching the trumpet for the first solo, giving way to the piano, bass and drums for a sly feature of their own, with some particularly excellent bass playing. They close out the lengthy album, with a unique version of "Round Midnight," using unusual keyboard textures and allowing the trumpet the carry the melody, adding saxophone and subtle brushes as the keyboards frame the interesting reading of the tune. They move into a medium tempo improvisation with an inquisitive saxophone solo wreathed in eerie organ playing that becomes the centerpiece of the performance. Kresten Osgood Quintet Plays Jazz - amazon.com

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