Posted on in Art + Soul by Lloyd Barde

Jeff Oster

Cover Reach Jeff Oster

Extra! Extra! Master trumpet and flugelhorn player Jeff Oster injects world and jazz influences on his latest release, Reach! Known throughout the Bay Area and across the land as a leader and highly sought-after sideman, Jeff may be leaving the pure New Age realm but the results are totally worth it. Plus, all the music on Reach was done live in the studio, with not one prewritten note!

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Jeff Oster album without healthy doses of jazz, chill, blues, and even some nods to classic ‘70s gritty action film soundtracks. Joining Oster is a stellar crew of guest stars, including Grammy winner Ruslan Sirota, given co-composer credits as well as being the album’s producer. From the opening frame drum rhythms of “Onward” to the funky attitude of “Le Caveau” (the ‘70s soundtrack-like track) or the Asian-fusion delights of “Five Great Mountains” or the uptempo jazziness of “Troppo y Boffo,” Oster leads his talented crew to heights of tunefulness and musicianship, with one great lick after another throughout all of Reach.

Jeff Oster’s previous Next, with Niles Rodgers and the killer rhythm section of Bernard “Pretty” Purdie and Chuck Rainey on board, was a 2016 Best of the Year contender. With Reach and its jazz and funk elements, Jeff is in great form while reaching new heights with the folks accompanying him.

Reach has nine tracks in total and is a further step toward jazz idioms and motifs, with its great mixture of sound and textures that invites you in at the outset and never leaves that “musical comfort zone.” Other world-jazz flavor instruments on this recording, besides Oster’s otherworldly horns, of course, are the Erhu and Indian flutes and Latin percussion and bass, which pulsate and drive while Jeff glides through, icing many cakes. Every track is solid and consistent, combining instruments and musical styles, and the artistry of each contributing musician makes this album one of the best in the genre this year. Oster is in a groove that keeps him at the top of his game and at the forefront of the music industry.


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