On the cutting edge for more than 20 years, alto saxophonist/composer/ bandleader/conceptualist GREG OSBY has worked to base his career on anything but musical clichés. Instead going for broke in the various soul, funk and blues bands of his early years, he expanded his musical vocabulary first at Howard University in Washington DC, and later Berklee College of Music, followed by a move to New York in 1983. His drive to create an original sound could be heard on dates led by such iconoclastic leaders as Jack DeJohnette, Herbie Hancock, Andrew Hill, Dizzy Gillespie and Jim Hall, among many others. His work with fellow collaborators Steve Coleman and Cassandra Wilson helped to establish a new school of jazz in New York's late '80s/early '90s Downtown scene, M-Base Collective. And right around this time, Osby was sailing into his own future as a recording artist/ leader, first for the German label JMT and eventually for Blue Note, the label he's called home since 1991.
Osby's first live album, Banned in New York, was an intentional lo-fi effort that was recorded direct to a budget Mini Disc recorder, placed on a table directly in front of the bandstand. His twelfth Blue Note release, Public (2004) follows on the heels of St. Louis Shoes in addition to such highly regarded and stylistically different releases as Inner Circle (2002), Symbols Of Light (2001), The Invisible Hand (2000), Zero (1998), and Art Forum (1996).