Greg Osby

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Greg Osby
Greg Osby photo.jpg
Osby performing in 2008
Background information
Born (1960-08-03) August 3, 1960 (age 62)
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
Genres Free jazz, free funk, M-Base
Occupation(s)Musician, record label owner
Years active1980–present
Labels JMT, Blue Note

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

Greg Osby and Sound Theatre May–June 1987 JMT 1987
MindgamesMay 1988JMT1988
Season of Renewal July 1989JMT1989
Man-Talk for Moderns Vol. XOctober–November 1990 Blue Note 1991
3-D LifestylesBlue Note1993
Black BookBlue Note1995
Art ForumBlue Note1996
Further AdoBlue Note1997
ZeroJanuary 1998Blue Note1998
Banned in New York Blue Note1998Live
Friendly Fire December 1998Blue Note1999with Joe Lovano
New DirectionsMay 1999Blue Note2000with Stefon Harris, Jason Moran, Mark Shim
The Invisible HandSeptember 1999Blue Note2000with Gary Thomas, Andrew Hill, Jim Hall, Scott Colley, Terri Lyne Carrington
Symbols of Light (A Solution)January 2001Blue Note2001
Inner CircleApril 1999Blue Note2002
St. Louis ShoesJanuary 2003Blue Note2003
PublicJanuary 2004Blue Note2004Live
Channel ThreeFebruary 2005Blue Note2005
9 LevelsAugust 2008Inner Circle Music2008

As sideman

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  1. 1 2 Feather, Leonard; Gitler, Ira (1999). "Osby, Greg". The Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 508.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "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.