January/February 2000

Osie Johnson
Osie's Oasis
Original Jazz Classics

Johnson is not only the leader and superb drummer on these two obscure dates recorded for Period in 1955, he also did the excellent arranging and much of the writing. Sidemen include Thad Jones, Benny Powell, Frank Wess, Ernie Wilkins, Dick Katz, and Milt Hinton. This is definitely period, swing-meets-cool writing, but the only aspect that doesn't date well is the tendency to over-emphasize Wess' flute on some tracks, a minor distraction on a fine, swinging program.

Originally published in January/February 2000
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