The Mendoza Line
Group Name Miles Osland, saxophone; Osland/Dailey Jazztet
Event Saxophone
Album ID - 50210-MCD

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Track TITLE Composer/Arranger
1 The Mendoza Line Dailey, Raleigh
2 Beulah Road Dailey, Raleigh
3 Dawn Treader Dailey, Raleigh
4 Bartertown Dailey, Raleigh
5 Stalking the Dread Moray Eel Dailey, Raleigh
6 Damon`s Dance Dailey, Raleigh
7 Jehanne Dailey, Raleigh
8 Jules Verne Dailey, Raleigh
9 Habiru Dailey, Raleigh
10 The Linden Walk Dailey, Raleigh
11 Home To You Dailey, Raleigh
12 Counting Florida Dailey, Raleigh
13 Nuangola 671 Dailey, Raleigh

The Osland/Dailey Jazztet, which made their recording debut in 2009 with Evidence, has built upon its earlier success on the recently recorded The Mendoza Line. One of the finest postbop groups in modern jazz today, the Jazztet is comprised of Miles Osland on alto, soprano, piccolo and flutes, pianist-keyboardist Raleigh Dailey, bassist Danny Cecil and either John Willmarth or Paul Deatherage on drums.

One of the main reasons that the Jazztet has its own musical personality and sounds unlike any other jazz group is that they exclusively perform the compositions and arrangements of Raleigh Dailey throughout The Mendoza Line. His originals are complex while being accessible and are unpredictable yet ultimately logical. The sometimes-quirky pieces challenge the musicians but are easy for listeners to enjoy. Combining together intellectual arrangements with emotional solos, the colorful music of the Osland/Dailey Jazztet is fresh and consistently memorable.

Another major asset is Miles Osland’s versatility. He is consistently passionate on each of his horns and quite distinctive on both alto and soprano. His solos avoid clichés and obvious ideas, really digging deep into Dailey’s music. Also quite notable is the playing of bassist Danny Cecil (whose stimulating ideas inspire the lead voices) and the polyrhythms of the drummers.

While the music does not need a play-by-play description, there are some highlights that should be pointed out. “The Mendoza Line” is a concise opener that has very fluent playing on soprano by Miles Osland and swinging piano from Raleigh Dailey. The soulful and slightly funky but never simplistic “Beulah Road” features Osland jumping into the upper register of his alto with ease while Dailey provides bluesy piano. “Dawn Treader” has some particularly adventurous alto playing while “Bartertown” features creative playing by Dailey on electric piano, high-powered alto, and Cecil’s bass being particularly interactive during the solos.

Of the other pieces, “Stalking The Dread Moray Eel” is a mysterious and even spooky strut, “Jehanne,” “Habiru” and “Home To You” are superior ballads, “Damon’s Dance” has some rapid melody lines, “Jules Verne” features the rhythm section really cooking, and “The Linden Walk” has a sly, witty and eccentric melody. The adventurous “Counting Florida” and the hyper “Nuangola 671” conclude the notable program.

While all of the musicians in the Osland/Dailey Jazztet are faculty members at the University of Kentucky, there is nothing academic about their music. The Mendoza Line is filled with fresh music for the 21st century jazz scene, featuring the Osland/Dailey Jazztet at their best.