Osborne, Mike - All Night Long
This is one of three albums cut by altoist Mike Osborne for Ogun and everyone agrees that this is the best of them. Recorded live at Willisau, Switzerland on April 13, 1975, this isn't the world's highest fidelity recording; the meters veer dangerously close to 'in the red', giving the instruments an almost electric sound, but Mike and his rhythm section of Harry Miller-bass and Louis Moholo-drums (of course!) really let it rip. There's over 25' of never-released bonus material as well!
"This live set from the Willisau jazz festival in 1975 represents Osborne as his fans from those days remember him, and newcomers may well be astonished by the power of an original improviser whose achievements have, by and large, slipped out of the record books. The saxophonist plays six originals here, and one cover (Monk's Round Midnight), with his favourite partners: Louis Moholo and his expat fellow South African, the late bassist Harry Miller. On the title track, Osborne's whirling, bittersweet lines fly over Moholo's free-bop cymbal beat and Miller's stormy arco undercurrent like the mid-1960s Ornette trio with bassist David Izenzon. The alto sound sings exultantly and swerves tremulously on and off the pitch in the edgily swinging Round Midnight. Miller's racing pulse powers the breathless, writhing Scotch Pearl; Waltz is a baleful low-register motif that accelerates as Osborne and the fiercely percussive Miller improvise in intertwining lines; and Ken's Tune (one of two 20-minute stretches) evolves like a fitfully playful spontaneous suite, with some Charlie Parker inflections en route. It's all pretty full-on, but this group in full cry could peel the paintwork, and All Night Long catches that elusive live feel as well as possible."-John Fordham/The Guardian