Greg Osby

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Greg Osby
Osby performing in 2008
Osby performing in 2008
Background information
Born (1960-08-03) August 3, 1960 (age 63)
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
GenresFree jazz, free funk, M-Base
Occupation(s)Musician, record label owner
Years active1980–present
LabelsJMT, Blue Note, Inner Circle Music

Greg Osby (born August 3, 1960[1]) is an American saxophonist and composer.


Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Osby studied at Howard University, then at the Berklee College of Music.[1] He moved to New York City in 1982, where he played with Jaki Byard, Jim Hall, Muhal Richard Abrams, Andrew Hill, Jack DeJohnette, Dizzy Gillespie, and Herbie Hancock.[2] In 1985, he joined DeJohnette's group Special Edition.[2] With Geri Allen, Steve Coleman, Gary Thomas, and Cassandra Wilson, he was a founding member of the M-Base Collective.[3]

Osby began recording albums under his own name for JMT Records in the mid-1980s, then signed with Blue Note in 1989.[2] In 2007, he formed his own label, Inner Circle Music.[2] He gave exposure to young pianist Jason Moran,[4] who appeared on most of Osby's 1990s albums, including Further Ado, Zero, Banned in New York and Symbols of Light, a double quartet featuring the addition of a string quartet to the band.[5]

He has also played with Phil Lesh and Friends, and he has toured with the Dead, a reincarnation of the Grateful Dead.[6] He received the Playboy Magazine Jazz Artist of the Year award for 2004 and 2009.[7]

Nate Chinen, writing for The New York Times, called Osby "a mentor and a pacesetter, one of the sturdier bridges between jazz generations," and stated that he has "a keen, focused tone on alto saxophone and a hummingbird's phrasing, an equilibrium of hover and flutter."[8]


As leader[edit]

Recording date Title Label Year released Notes
Greg Osby and Sound Theatre JMT 1987
1988-05 Mindgames JMT 1988
1989-07 Season of Renewal JMT 1989
Man-Talk for Moderns Vol. X Blue Note 1991
1993? 3-D Lifestyles Blue Note 1993
1995? Black Book Blue Note 1995
1996? Art Forum Blue Note 1996
1997? Further Ado Blue Note 1997
1997-12 Banned in New York Blue Note 1998 Live
1998-01 Zero Blue Note 1998
1998-12 Friendly Fire Blue Note 1999 with Joe Lovano, Jason Moran, Cameron Brown, Idriss Muhammad
1999-04 Inner Circle Blue Note 2002 with Stefon Harris, Jason Moran, Tarus Mateen, Eric Harland
1999-05 New Directions Blue Note 2000 with Stefon Harris, Jason Moran, Mark Shim
1999-09 The Invisible Hand Blue Note 2000 with Gary Thomas, Andrew Hill, Jim Hall, Scott Colley, Terri Lyne Carrington
2001-01 Symbols of Light (A Solution) Blue Note 2001 with Jason Moran, Scott Colley, Marlon Browden, Nioka Workman, Judith Insell, Marlene Rice, Christian Howes
2003-01 St. Louis Shoes Blue Note 2003
2004-01 Public Blue Note 2004 Live
2005-02 Channel Three Blue Note 2005 with Jeff "Tain" Watts, Matt Brewer
2008-08 9 Levels Inner Circle Music 2008
2023-10 Minimalism Inner Circle Music 2023 with Tal Cohen, João Barradas, Nimrod Speaks, Adam Arruda, Viktorija Pilatovic, Alessandra Diodati

As sideman[edit]


  1. ^ a b Feather, Leonard; Gitler, Ira (1999). "Osby, Greg". The Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 508.
  2. ^ a b c d "Greg Osby: Biography". All About Jazz. Retrieved February 22, 2022.
  3. ^ Ankeny, Jason. "Greg Osby". AllMusic. Retrieved June 4, 2017.
  4. ^ Chinen, Nate (2019). Playing Changes: Jazz for the New Century. Vintage Books. pp. 106–108.
  5. ^ Lyles, Ronald (April 6, 2011). "Greg Osby Discography". Retrieved February 28, 2022.
  6. ^ Varga, George (October 24, 2014). "Sax Great Greg Osby Transcends the Dead". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved February 28, 2022.
  7. ^ Fripp, Matt (January 21, 2022). "Interview with American Saxophone Great Greg Osby". JazzFuel. Retrieved February 28, 2022.
  8. ^ Chinen, Nate (August 4, 2010). "Bridging Jazz Generations Without Nostalgia". New York Times. Retrieved February 28, 2022.

External links[edit]