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***** WINNER *****
17th Annual Independent Music Awards
Best New Age Album
Best New Age Song (FIVE GREAT MOUNTAINS)
***** WINNER *****
15th Annual ZMR Music Awards
Album of the Year
Best Contemporary Instrumental Album
Master class trumpet and flugelhorn player Jeff Oster injects some world influences on his latest release, Reach. 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 soundtrack music!
From the opening frame drum rhythms of "Onward" and the song's mystical melodies and sensual rhythms to the funky attitude of "Le Caveau" (the '70s soundtrack-like track I alluded to earlier) to the Asian-fusion delights of "Five Great Mountains," to the uptempo, jazziness of "Troppo y Boffo," Oster leads his talented crew to heights of tunefulness and musicianship, featuring one great lick after another throughout all of Reach's nine tracks.
Joining Oster are a stellar crew of worldly guest stars, including Ruslan Sirota (piano, keyboards, guitar, and vocals) who also is given co-composer credits, as well as being the album's producer. Also on board for the globally-influenced proceedings are Robyn Ghosh (guitar), Benjamin J. Shepherd (bass), Tamir Barzilay (drums), Pete Korpela (percussion), Jenni Asher (erhu), Ravichandra Kulur (Indian flutes), and Drew Allsbrook (vocals). Mixing by Yan Perchuk (Vibrant Production Studios) and mastering by Tom Eaton (Imaginary Road Studios) are both exemplary.
Oster proves himself to be both a show-stopping soloist and a true team player willing to step back and let others take center stage.
It's not a "reach" to take great pleasure in this album, yet another solid recording from Jeff Oster.
Wind and Wire / Retailing Insight magazine music critic