Nationally recognized jazz ensemble The Greg Osby Four will play the Buskirk-Chumley Theatre, 114 E. Kirkwood Ave., at 7:30 p.m today. The quartet features Greg Osby on alto and soprano saxophones, Jason Moran on piano, drummer Derrick Phillips and bassist Calvin Jones. The band is touring with songs from Symbols of Light (A Solution), Osby's 11th. album, which is being heralded as his most adventurous release on the Blue Note label. \nSo far, the album has received high ratings from sources including jazz magazine Downbeat, which gave the album four out of five stars. \nDistinguished Professor David Baker said Osby is a "constantly under-recognized talent. He has been one of the bright lights in jazz for the past 10 years."\n"(Osby is) the kind of artist people need to hear," said David Miller, a member of Jazz From Bloomington, the organization sponsoring the concert. "He has been among the most experimental of the artists on the Blue Note label. When I saw him in 1999, a lot of people walked away saying how exciting it is to hear this guy who is clearly on the cutting edge."\n"He is a unique voice," said Assistant Professor of Music Tom Walsh. "He searches for new forms of expression. Instead of resting on what players did before him, he's building on what they did. It's hard to classify what he does because he pushes the boundaries of the mainstream. " \nOsby, born in 1960, has been performing professionally for more than half of his life. His early interests in other musical styles such as blues, soul and funk helped to shape his attitude toward the importance of expanding an artist's creative palette. In a press release, Osby expressed the importance of "the measures we can use to connect to American improvisatory styles, West European traditions and other folk arts."\nOsby started out at Howard University in 1978, but moved on to Berklee College of Music in Boston two years later. There he worked with up and coming stars like Branford Marsalis and Kevin Eubanks. Just a few years later he would move to New York and build his name and his chops with "on the job training." \nOsby worked with legends like Dizzy Gillespie and McCoy Tyner. He also performed with a variety of non-jazz oriented musicians to supplement his income. Once again, he took this opportunity to absorb other musical ideas that ended up helping him branch out even further. As Baker put it, "he refused to be categorized."\nOsby's compositional ideology shows a deep concern for keeping new music fresh and original. "Symbols of Light" displays his ability to incorporate various styles into his music, proving that Osby is willing to risk accessibility to reach new standards of creativity in modern jazz. "Symbols" contains only one standard, a unique exploration of Johnny Mathis's "Wild Is the Wind."\nOsby said he feels it is necessary for musicians to develop their own sound instead of always looking into the past. He said in a press release that "without extreme interpretation, they (standards) don't reflect the musical aspirations of the current generation." \nTickets for tonight's performance are $14 for Jazz from Bloomington members, $16 for students and $18 for general admission. Tickets can be purchased at Borders, ProWinds and T.D.'s CDs and LPs. The Barber Brothers will open for the Greg Osby Four and will start at 7:30 p.m.
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