Cover for Greg Osby's latest CD, St. Louis Shoes (Blue Note Records, 2003)
Alto saxophonist and composer Greg Osby has been performing his unique brand of innovative jazz for years. His reputation as an open-minded, flexible musician has attracted some of today's leading contemporary jazz artists to his recording studio.
NPR's Tony Cox sat down with Osby recently to talk about his latest CD, St. Louis Shoes — a collection of 20th-century jazz standards from Duke Ellington to Cassandra Wilson.
The CD also showcases other familiar names in jazz, including trumpeter Nicholas Payton, pianist Harold O'Neal, bassist Robert Hurst and drummer Rodney Green. The result is a CD with an eclectic take on some familiar tunes.
Why cover tunes for his latest venture? Osby says he "wanted to break out of the artist/composer cocoon."
Even so, the new CD has a St. Louis feel to it — Osby spent time in cities like Washington, D.C., New York City and Boston, but he is originally from St. Louis, Mo., a town with its own distinct "flavor" of jazz and blues.