Paul Bley/Kresten Osgood: Florida
Florida features Kresten Osgood in a duo with piano genius Paul Bley. Recorded in West Palm Beach in January 2007.
Bley (1932 – 2016) has recorded well over 100 albums in his 50 plus career as a jazz musician and been a vital part of the history of jazz. He played with Charlie Parker, Lester Young and Ornette Coleman in the 50´s, Reinvented jazzpiano in the 60´ (without Paul Bley, Keith Jarret wouldn´t sound like he does), helped define the sound of the ECM label and was one of the first to introduce synthesizers... Paul Bley has played a part in every period of jazz since bebop and has played with nearly every important player in Jazz.
Osgood is 45 years younger than Bley, but he has already established himself as one of Scandinavias most important players today. He has collaborated with such improvising heroes as Sam Rivers, Oliver Lake, Dr. Lonnie Smith and John Tchicai and appears on well over 30 albums. This is his most ambitious release to that date.
Recorded in one day it captures the energy of the meeting of the minds. Osgood holding his ground against the master. The record is an examination of the improvising mind. It has moments of abstraction and moments of beauty. There are no tricks, no makeup.
This is what happened in FLORIDA
"Etableret amerikansk jazzpianist og ung dansk jazztrommeslager improviserer"
Forestil dig to inkarnerede jazzmusikere. En pianist og en trommeslager. Den ene er amerikaner og 75 år gammel, den anden er dansker og 45 år yngre. De to mødes i et studie i Florida med ét for øje: På én dag at indspille en cd. Og alt skal være improvisation! Forestil dig det. Så kan du måske forestille dig cd’en Florida!?!? De to jazzmusikere på improvisationsalbummet er den rutinerede pianist, Paul Bley, og den unge trommeslager, Kresten Osgood. En konstellation, der nok skal borge for både kvalitet og udtryksmæssig styrke, eftersom de begge har manifesteret sig som suveræne solister på hver deres instrument og som lige så suveræne sidemen i en vifte af konstellationer. Florida er da også et meget lytteværdigt album, med en overraskende fin balance mellem de to musikere. Der er noget uforbeholdent og dog tilbageholdt, noget nøgent og dog smukt over deres improviserede samspil. Noget udfordrende og krævende og dog tilgængeligt og aflæseligt. I den forstand er deres improvisationsalbum et af de mest interessante indenfor netop den sportsgren." Review in Gaffa (danish)
" "Without Paul Bley, there would be no Keith Jarrett" is conventional jazz wisdom perhaps, but worth repeating. Bley's expansive and unfettered approach to the keyboard (acoustic and electric) has provided a viable alternative for generations of artists seeking a creative path beyond the kinetic tendencies of Bley's principle peer, Cecil Taylor.
Bley, now 75, made his recording debut with Charlie Parker in 1953. Exploring an endless variety of aesthetic concepts and instrumental line-ups over the years, he has developed a visionary approach to instrumentation and concepts of accompaniment. The past two decades have found him focusing on intimate acoustic sessions, much like this duet, which features young Danish drummer Kresten Osgood.
Ably supporting Sam Rivers on Purple Violets (Stunt, 2005) and Violet Violets (Stunt, 2005), the thirty year-old Osgood has also collaborated with Oliver Lake, John Tchicai and Dr. Lonnie Smith. His accompaniment here is sensitive, subtle, and far more reserved than his interplay with Rivers.
A mix of solo pieces and duets, Florida is evenly split between Osgood and Bley, who each contribute three unaccompanied compositions. Osgood's percussion workouts are colorful investigations of texture and dynamics. Handsomely melodic, "True Blue and Gold" uses simmering percussive accents to invoke a dreamy kaleidoscopic sound world.
Bley's singular delivery is typically economic, melding unorthodox cadences with impressionistic harmonies. "Darkness" and "Backlash" demonstrate his confident pacing, drifting between tension and romance with leisurely timing. The linear propulsion of "Fluid Head" is more immediate, conjuring pensive lyricism from succinct angular variations.
Four longer pieces feature the duo's attentive listening and cautious interaction. "Meeting of the Minds" is ascetic abstraction, "Told You So" traffics in fragmentary thematic interplay and "Arches" paints a plaintive melody. Marvelously irreverent, their rollicking deconstruction of "All The Things You Are" is an album highlight.
Florida is subtle and abstract; at times beautiful, at others willfully difficult, its rewards are attainable for those willing to invest the time."
Review in All About Jazz, NY