Since 1984, when he hooked up with Steve Coleman to form the M-BASE Collective, alto saxophonist Greg Osby has been at the forefront of some of the more exploratory movements of the modern jazz era. While always on the cutting edge of current trends, Osby seems to be coming into his own these days, as he realizes the importance of tempering his "outside" tendencies with a more emotionally connective style of improvisation. Starting with the funk bands he played with while still in high school, Osby has made the most of the illustrious leaders he's shared the bandstand with over the years, including Joe Lovano, Andrew Hill, Lester Bowie, and McCoy Tyner.
As a leader, Osby has released over a dozen albums for Blue Note. His most recent is Inner Circle, an updated vision of the hard bop continuum featuring Stefon Harris and Jason Moran, two men who solidly represent the next generation of jazz innovators. With a full command of the mainstream language and a bristling sound that builds upon Jackie McLean's work from the late '60s, Osby will likely continue to take jazz into new areas that often mix conventional sensibilities with elements of rap, hip-hop, and a bevy of other styles.