Mike Osbourne: Force of Nature

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5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Mike Osbourne
LABELS: Reel Recordings
ALBUM TITLE: Mike Osbourne
WORKS: Force of Nature
PERFORMER: Dave Holdsworth (trumpet); Mike Osborne (saxophone); Marcio Mattos, Paul Bridge (bass); Tony Marsh (drums)
CATALOGUE NO: RR006

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‘Ossie’ was one of the finest, and certainly the most passionate and urgent of saxophonists the UK ever produced. And he stands comparison with the best players anywhere. He died last September, but psychiatric problems had prevented him playing in public since 1982. His recorded legacy covered just 15 years, so whenever unreleased sessions come to light, like these from 1980 and 1981, it is cause for celebration, especially when he and his colleagues are on such splendid form. Typical of Ossie’s gigs, these busy compendiums of tunes ancient and modern are woven with panache, wit and inventiveness into continuous improvisations that rarely pause for breath. Admirers of this remarkable artist need this disc. I’d also recommend the much-expanded re-issue of All Night Long (released simultaneously on Ogun OGCD 029) by Ossie’s classic trio at its most ferocious. Barry Witherden