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John Allmark Jazz Orchestra featuring Clay Osborne: The John Allmark Jazz Orchestra Featuring Clay Osborne

Conversely, the more said about Clay Osborne, the better. He’s an integral part of the CD John Allmark Jazz Orchestra, Featuring Clay Osborne (Whaling City Sound WCS-007; 58:00), based appropriately in the old whaling port of New Bedford, Mass. The band plays at Bovi’s every Monday, 43 miles away in the wailing city of East Providence, R.I. Osborne adds a joyous sound to the ensemble, which is especially effective on up tunes, yet his most poignant effort is on the ballad, “Georgia on My Mind.” He holds his own with scat because he obviously hears changes and can confidently trade fours with trumpeter John Allmark on “Shopping Mall Blues,” one of those in the blues genre with a nonsexual lyric, by Osborne: “If my baby’s not home I know she’s at the mall/She leaves in the spring and don’t get home till the fall.”

Osborne is not a regular with the band, but if he doesn’t show up at the band’s weekly gigs, patrons won’t be cheated. Touring cats like Bobby Shew, Lanny Morgan, Nick Brignola and Randy Brecker have sat in with the band. They can hear a solidly swinging organization with great charts by Allmark and Bob Freedman, impressive solo work by Allmark and baritonist Bob Bowlby and strong lead trumpeting from Joe Giorgianni.

Originally Published