4/13/2015

New Age/Jazz Review: Jeff Oster-Next

Release Date: April 14, 2015
Label: Retso Records

Ever think of what it would sound like if Pink Floyd joined forces with Miles Davis? Well that is the sound of Jeff Oster as people described him over the years. Personally I love both of those artists, they were building blocks to our musical legacy and idolized by generations of listeners. Jeff Oster is an acclaimed trumpet and flugelhorn player that has been bestowed many honors over his career. After giving his new release Next a good listen I can understand why. Somehow he has been able to take jazz, funk, ambient and new age and make it a unique and compelling sound all his own.

As the curtain opens with the title track Oster starts things off in the right way giving the music the direction it needs to capture a listener. Nile Rodgers (Chic) adds his smooth and funky guitar lines to the soothing sounds produced by Jeff’s horn. It just could not have started any better.

As the man says-“If you want to know truly who I am, listen to my horn.” I think that sums it up in one statement and trust me it plays out just like that on Next. Jeff’s flugelhorn and trumpet are brought to the forefront of the music by the talented production hands of Will Ackerman from Imaginary Road Studios. It was mixed by the capable hands of Tom Eaton and then mastered by Bob Ludwig.

The combination of smooth jazz and new age is a compatible marriage of sound and without sounding cliché; it’s like chicken soup for the soul, musically speaking. It’s quite beautiful and picturesque. This music allows you to shape and mold the pictures in your mind’s eye and I can guarantee it will be the most pleasant journey.

“Gardens of Varanasi” invokes a spiritual atmosphere, like an invite to heaven this track leads you down the path to enlightenment. With purpose and direction the music sets you at ease and gives you comfort. What I found interesting was the fact that you don’t have to necessarily be a fan of new age or jazz to find enjoyment with this release. I think the overall presentation has something to offer every one. It was a challenge to choose three key standout tracks because each one was impressive in its own right. My personal tastes were a perfect fit for getting into this album; I love jazz, all kinds and new age as well so it was like putting on my pants every day, it fit.

“I Can’t Make You Love Me” is a delicate and beautiful outreach to that special someone, an invitation to see the other party as they truly are and decide if choosing to be by their side would feel right. If the music has anything to do with that, I am sure the answer would be yes. Everything about the track, the piano, horn, drums and bass invite you in and make you feel right at home, like you belong. In essence all of Jeff Oster’s music is special like that. 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. I am certain this recording will receive its share of attention before the year is through.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Next, Gardens of Varanasi, I Can’t Make You Love Me

Tracks: 
01. Next (feat. Nile Rodgers)  
02. Night Train to Sofia      
03. Gardens of Varanasi      
04. Turn Left At San Pancho      
05. I Can't Make You Love Me      
06. On Mother's Day      
07. Half a Cookie      
08. Ibiza Sunrise      
09. Avenue D  
10. The Mystery of B      
11. Heroes (feat. Jeff Taboloff)      
12. And We Dance

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music ReviewsFounder

April 13, 2015

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

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