EW reviews four hot new jazz albums -- We take a closer look at new releases by Greg Osby, Wayne Shorter Quartet, and more

Beyond the Sound Barrier

EW reviews four hot new jazz albums

GREG OSBY Channel Three (Blue Note) An old friend (drummer Jeff ”Tain” Watts) and a new find (bassist Matthew Brewer) form the saxophonist’s first trio. Osby exploits the format to find slippery flow through Ornette Coleman’s ”Mob Job,” Eric Dolphy’s ”Miss Ann,” and seven originals. His tenor and soprano playing, always inventive, have never sounded so loose and graceful. B+

WAYNE SHORTER QUARTET Beyond the Sound Barrier (Verve) The latest chapter in jazz’s best current story catches the saxophonist and his four-year-old quartet at several European concerts. Tracks blend together to simulate the group’s free-flowing style, wherein bits of Shorter’s compositions (”Joy Ryder,” ”Go”) bubble to the surface of a brilliantly improvised stew. A

PAT METHENY/ORNETTE COLEMAN Song X (Nonesuch) Musicians have grappled with alto saxophonist Coleman’s concepts to mixed results. But guitarist Metheny was up to the task 20 years ago; he and Coleman found common ground in both frenetic and languid terrain. It’s a landmark record — here remastered and including six enlightening, previously unreleased tracks. A-

DIZZY GILLESPIE/CHARLIE PARKER Town Hall, New York City, June 22, 1945 (Uptown) A collector’s chance find yielded this joyful, well-recorded slice of essential jazz history. At the height of their powers and the dawn of bebop, Diz and Bird blaze a fresh trail through now-classic tunes including ”A Night in Tunisia” and ”Groovin’ High.” A-

Beyond the Sound Barrier
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