Greg Osby

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Greg Osby photo.jpg

Greg Osby (born August 3, 1960) is an American jazz saxophonist who plays mainly in the free jazz, free funk and M-Base idioms.


Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Osby studied at Howard University, where he majored in Jazz Studies, and then at the Berklee College of Music, with Andy McGhee. He played on Jack DeJohnette's Special Edition, and has recorded with Steve Coleman, Jim Hall and Andrew Hill (setting the stage for Hill and Hall's later appearance on Osby's The Invisible Hand).

He began recording albums under his own name for JMT Records in the 1980s, but his most celebrated work has been a run of records for Blue Note. Like Coleman, Osby likes to discover fresh talent and give players a chance to grow within his own band: he was responsible for giving exposure to the young pianist Jason Moran, who appeared on most of Osby's 1990s albums (including the live album Banned in New York and an experiment with adding a string quartet to the band, Symbols of Light).

Osby has contributed to the homages to Miles Davis's 1970s electric jazz performed by Henry Kaiser and Wadada Leo Smith's "Yo Miles" group. The Village Voice critic Francis Davis wrote of his contribution to their double album Upriver, "Greg Osby superimposes his own brand of rhythmic complexity (one fully worthy of Wayne Shorter) on the rhythm section's static vamps every time he steps forward." [1]

In 2003 Osby toured with The Dead, which was a reincarnation of The Grateful Dead for a full North American tour. He also has contributed in various lineups with Phil Lesh and Friends.

Since 2007, Greg has been an active endorser of P. Mauriat Saxophones, playing a 67R DK alto and a System 76 DK soprano. He was featured in a series of magazine ads in Down Beat,[2] JazzTimes and Saxophone Journal in early 2009. He is currently on faculty in the Ensemble Department at Berklee College of Music.

Greg was named Playboy Magazine's "Jazz Artist of the Year" in the March 2009 issue.[3]


As leader[edit]

Title Recorded Released Label Notes
Greg Osby and Sound Theatre 05-06/1987 (*) 1987 JMT
Mindgames 05/1988 1988 JMT
Season of Renewal 07/1989 1989 JMT
Man-Talk For Moderns Vol. X 10-11/1990 1991 Blue Note
3-D Lifestyles 1993 Blue Note
Black Book 1995 Blue Note
Art Forum 1996 Blue Note
Further Ado 1997 Blue Note
Zero 01/1998 1998 Blue Note
Banned in New York 1998 Blue Note Live
Friendly Fire 12/1998 1999 Blue Note with Joe Lovano
New Directions 05/1999 2000 Blue Note with Stefon Harris, Jason Moran, Mark Shim
The Invisible Hand 09/1999 2000 Blue Note With Gary Thomas, Andrew Hill, Jim Hall, Scott Colley, Terri Lyne Carrington
Symbols of Light (A Solution) 01/2001 2001 Blue Note
Inner Circle 04/1999 2002 Blue Note
St. Louis Shoes 01/2003 2003 Blue Note
Public 01/2004 2004 Blue Note Live
Channel Three 02/2005 2005 Blue Note
9 Levels 08/2008 2008 Inner Circle Music
with Uri Caine
with Steve Coleman
with Robin Eubanks
with Gary Thomas
with CL Smooth
  • "Raise" (1993)[4]


External links[edit]