Greg Osby: Further Ado

From his early ’80s work/study tenure in the Howard University Jazz Orchestra (bandmates: Geri Allen, Wallace Roney, Steve Coleman) to his mid-’80s progressions with Brooklyn’s M-Base Collective to his underrated ’90s funk ‘n’ hop period, alto saxophonist Greg Osby has always moved his style, worked his own “sound.” What a sound it is-rhythmically hard yet cerebrally soulful, fluid, warm, full-bodied and muscular like a tenor (even when he takes it upstairs), with exceptional one note-hang time.

Pushed by a group of some of the best new generation shape shifters on the set today-Jason Moran, piano; Eric Harland, drums; Lonnie Plaxico, Calvin Jones, bass; Tim Hagans, trumpet; Mark Shim, tenor; Cleave Guyton, flute/clarinet; Jeff Haynes, percussion-Osby brings his sound forward (plus nine new compositions) with a quickness on his newest disc Further Ado. With these cats on his side, the altoist renders the music here to its fullest. From the lushly wafting, tandem piano/flute melodies that soothe Osby’s bittersweet soliloquies on “Transparency” to Hagan’s crackling wails behind Osby’s Eddie Harris reconstructions on “Heard” to the ensemble’s seething phrases on the cowbell/congas-intensive “Vixen’s Vance,” Further Ado is an ever-rewarding experience. What a sound this is.