One thing that can be said about New Age trumpet maestro Jeff Oster is that no other New Age artist can groove like he can. Which means that his unique brand of that kind of music should translate well from the studio into the live arena. The just-released Jeff Oster Live! bolsters that notion, and but not just because Oster can groove. It’s for another, rather straightforward reason: Oster’s working band is downright tight. He’s joined by Celso Alberti on drums, Frank Martin on keys, Todd Boston on guitar and for a trio of tracks, Jeff Taboloff on sax. Bass? That’s handled by his longtime musical partner, the virtuosic Michael Manring.
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From Jeff Oster LIVE! at The Fenix in San Rafael, CA
“Last night I was privileged to attend one of the best concerts I’ve been to in a long time, perhaps ever! It was the album release event for trumpet/flugelhorn maestro Jeff Oster’s latest recording entitled “Next.”
Jeff was accompanied by an all-star group of musicians including fretless bassist extraordinaire Michael Manring (who also played on my own “Ambient Alchemy” album with Steven Halpern), well known new age guitarist Todd Boston, drummer Celso Alberti who has played with Steve Winwood among others, and keyboardist Frank Martin who has played with just about everybody including with Sting at Carnegie Hall!
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“Loved playing with you. You’re a brilliant musician…and that tone, gimmie a break!”
“By retaining all the soothing qualities of New Age while making it groove naturally, Jeff Oster has quietly pioneered an organic kind of downtempo — he calls it “New Age Ambient Funk” — that sets it apart from everyone else operating in that space, and in the process has made it more interesting and compelling. With the help of some unlikely contributors, next is the best demonstration of Oster’s homegrown genre thus far.”
“Jeff Oster blurs the lines between jazz, chill, funk and ambient/new age as if boundaries simply didn’t exist. It is certainly one of the most entertaining albums of recent years.”
“Jeff Oster’s music is fantastic, and the title track for his new album is a tight, minimalist, New Age haze of a tune where trumpets drone over a slow and funky beat. The song features guitarist Nile Rodgers, who’s worked with Daft Punk and David Bowie, among others… Put on the song, align your chakras, rub your nipples with spirit crystals, and just fucking relax for once. Jeff Oster looks like your friend’s dad who wore a fedora and hit the grav bong too hard—but who knew that guy could also blow a mean-ass horn?”
“I have recorded many of the world’s greatest trumpet and flugelhorn players. In fact, some of the most important that music has to offer…talk about tone, intonation, phrasing and all things wonderful about the instrument, Jeff has it all…”
“In essence all of Jeff Oster’s music is special…He has created a masterpiece of instrumental bliss. Next slides down into your soul like your favorite ice cream on a hot summer day. You feel satisfaction and complete joy. This is relaxation and satisfaction taken to the next level.”
“If you’ve got even the slightest interest in jazz, nab this. Seriously tasty stuff.
Right off the bat we are massaged with Oster’s flugelhorn. A light touch of resonance gives depth to its consistently soft-at-the-edges sound.
It’s a straight dose of feel-good with a 70s fusion jazz skin. On the other side of the coin, when you’re ready to have your heart broken, feel free to spin Oster’s cover of the Bonnie Raitt song “I Can’t Make You Love Me.” If ever there was a song waiting to be flugelhorn this is it.”
Will Ackerman; Founder Windham Hill Records, Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award
“Jeff Oster has always amazed me. Anyone who sounds like no one else amazes me, but a guy who grows so stunningly as a composer and player in the space of a few years inspires nothing but awe.
NEXT is a step in musical evolution from where we last heard from Jeff… rather like the apes harnessing fire and inventing French cuisine.
It’s a joy as his friend and co-producer to watch someone you love and respect grow into an artist of true importance and significance in a world of background noise. Listen to this. It matters.”