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St Louis Shoes


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

With St. Louis Shoes, the restlessly inventive Greg Osby takes a familiar format--the standards/favorite tunes collection--and brings it to full creative boil. As always with the alto saxophonist, there's a concept unifying the material--in this case his development from a St. Louis phenom into an east coast pro. The album opens with a richly harmonized, progressively modern reading of Duke Ellington's classic "East St. Louis Toodle-oo" and closes with a melodically compelling overhaul of W.C. Handy's "St. Louis Blues." In between, basking in some of trumpeter Nicholas Payton's best playing on record, Osby reflects his roots in the bebop of Bird and Diz and Monk and his emergence as a proponent of Brooklyn's funk-informed M-Base sound, deconstructing "Summertime" to audacious effect. His quintet includes young pianist Harold O'Neal, who in replacing the flagrantly gifted Jason Moran reveals terrific potential of his own. --Lloyd Sachs

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. East St. Louis Toodle-Oo 6:00$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Shaw Nuff 6:00$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Light Blue 6:50$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Whirlwind Soldier 5:33$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Summertime 5:03$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Milton On Ebony 5:54$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. The Single Petal Of A Rose 6:37$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Bernie's Tune 2:29$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. St. Louis Blues 7:59$1.29  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 10, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: 2003
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Blue Note Records
  • ASIN: B00009L52P
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #99,135 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By junkmedia on June 26, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Here saxophonist Greg Osby explores his musical past all the while blazing a new path. Sounds like a cliché? No, this is Osby exploring his past through the multi-faceted lens of his current abilities. Blending tradition and innovation, Greg Osby turns standards on their ends and makes them sound new again.
Refraining from original material and favoring standards is an unusual choice for Osby, who is best known for his early association with the M-Base collective, a sort of pre-acid jazz funk group. Since then Osby has developed a style as dependent on abstracted funk and hip-hop rhythms as it is on non-linear phrasing. Osby's most difficult music sounds almost academic in its execution, but with St. Louis Shoes he seems to have tempered his abstract inclinations with a more melodic sensibility.
Osby and his group take time honored chestnuts, rearrange and reharmonize them, add metric rhythm shifts and then solo through them as though they were newly written tunes, all while keeping the original spirit of the pieces. Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, W.C. Handy and even Jack Dejohnette all get composer credit on this session.
Though the music ranges from esoteric to overexposed, all of the pieces feel fresh again. The album opener, Ellington's "East St. Louis Toodle-Oo" gets progressively more complex as the band goes through the changes, sounding more modernistic with each repetition of the theme. Although still recognizable as an Ellington piece by it finale, Osby puts his own personal stamp on it, reminding you just who's playing who here.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Dr.D.Treharne on June 26, 2003
Format: Audio CD
It was a brave decision by Osby to take so many well known tunes and make them his own. The success of the project owes as much to the band, as it does to Osby. Nicholas Peyton proves to be an excellent foil for Osby's eclectic style, and Harold O'Neil on piano is given acres of space to develop his own take on the programme. The rhythm section is tight, with Green on drums proving he can be both propulsive and supportive. Some of the tunes are barely recognisable as compositions that you may have heard before, whilst others are given the lightest of makeovers. My favourite tracks are two Ellington tracks, one early period "East St Louis Toodle-oo" and the much later "The Single petal of a rose". Both have wonderful contributions from both the frontmen who spur each other on to deliver greater depths of sound. However, perhaps bettering both of these is a magnificent version of Cassandra Wilson's "Whirlwind Soldier" transformed into something completely different from her version.There's not a track on this album that isn't transformed by the ensemble collected here, and it would be interesting to know what Thelonious Monk might have made of the version of "Light Blue". This album might not be what you might have expected given the track listing.It's an album that will certainly deliver more layers with repeated listening, and is highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Troy Collins on August 18, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Here saxophonist Greg Osby explores his musical past all the while blazing a new path. Sounds like a cliché? No, this is Osby exploring his past through the multi-faceted lens of his current abilities. Blending tradition and innovation, Greg Osby turns standards on their ends and makes them sound new again.

Refraining from original material and favoring standards is an unusual choice for Osby, who is best known for his early association with the M-Base collective, a sort of pre-acid jazz funk group. Since then Osby has developed a style as dependent on abstracted funk and hip-hop rhythms as it is on non-linear phrasing. Osby's most difficult music sounds almost academic in its execution, but with St. Louis Shoes he seems to have tempered his abstract inclinations with a more melodic sensibility.

Osby and his group take time honored chestnuts, rearrange and reharmonize them, add metric rhythm shifts and then solo through them as though they were newly written tunes, all while keeping the original spirit of the pieces. Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, W.C. Handy and even Jack Dejohnette all get composer credit on this session.

Though the music ranges from esoteric to overexposed, all of the pieces feel fresh again. The album opener, Ellington's "East St. Louis Toodle-Oo" gets progressively more complex as the band goes through the changes, sounding more modernistic with each repetition of the theme. Although still recognizable as an Ellington piece by it finale, Osby puts his own personal stamp on it, reminding you just who's playing who here.
Read more ›
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By sam on July 2, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This is a terrific CD. Greg Osby has a unique persepctive and method...a somewhat knotty and off-center approach to his melodic lines over some very rich harmonies. But it's accessible and very moving...the Ellington ballad ('Petals')is simply beautiful. This CD mostly features reharmonized standards--since these songs are already familiar to most jazz fans, St. Louis Shoes might be the perfect starting point for someone who's not yet acquainted with Osby's art.
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