Everyone love Kresten Osgood and all for good reasons. The prolific Danish drummer Kresten Osgood is not only an excellent drummer and resourceful improviser but a truly kaleidoscopic man, one of these people who at the same time defy and totally own categories. He is also a rapper-vocalist-pianist-saxophonist-trumpeter, a funny entertainer, sought after cook, collector of hats and a driving force in the local jazz scene. Needless to say, Osgood is well-versed with the American jazz legacy and has the the fullest respect to it, but he likes to challenge this legacy in his own special way.
His new album with his quintet, comprised of Copenhagen’s younger and promising generation, is a straightforward declaration of love to the American jazz legacy. But when it comes to Osgood this legacy does not feature only the usual suspects – Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk and Charles Mingus – often in less known tunes of their – but also unlikely candidates as James Cotton, Randy Weston, Steve Colson, Jerome Cooper and few originals of Osgood. These tunes reflect Osgood’s extensive list of influences and experiences , collaborating and recording with legendary, innovative improvisers as Paul Bley, Roscoe Mitchell, Derek Bailey, Yusuf Lateef and Peter Brötzmann through younger ones as Joshua Redman and Brad Mehldau.
The quintet plays the classic tunes with tons of passion, taking a lot of chances and risks, and cementing their individual voices in these tunes. Osgood is a very generous leader and knows how to make the best of the strong personalities in his quintet – Norwegian trumpeter Erik Kimestad and Fellow-Danish sax player Mads Egetoft, pianist Jeppe Zeeberg and double bass player Matthias Petri. The covers of Monk’s «Brilliant Corners» and «Friday The 13», Weston’s «Little Niles» or Mingus’ «Reincarnation of a Love Bird» sound fresh, urgent and emotionally powerful as when they were originally recorded about sixty and forty years ago. Osgood’s own originals correspond beautifully with these classics and «Kresten Osgood Quintet Plays Jazz» is programmed cleverly. Cooper’s «Monk Funk» is a natural extension of Monk’s «Friday The 13th» and Osgood’s own «De Det» cements this jubilant Monk celebration. The only standard that is spiraled into futuristic atmosphere is Monk’s “Round Midnight” where Zebberg’s spacious keyboards embrace the lyrical solos of Kimestad and Egetoft.
Osgood Quintet suggests a clever and playful perspective of the jazz legacy; a perspective that bridges the distances between the past and the present, or between what is considered as traditional and what is perceived as free and avant-garde. Many more reasons to love Osgood.
Erik Kimestad (tp), Mads Egetoft (s), Jeppe Zeeberg (p), Matthias Petri (b), Kresten Osgood (dr)