12 Songs, 55 Minutes

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Ratings and Reviews

4.9 out of 5
14 Ratings
14 Ratings
MTS Music ,

Beautiful trumpet playing and production

Jeff has crafted a beautifully relaxing album of jazz trumpet style songs. If you are looking to kick back and feel pure emotion, this is a must listen. The Nile Rodgers collab is my favorite track and the whole album has top notch production quality.

WKellerman ,

On the next level!

There’s so much that takes you in here; soft, mellow trumpet tones playing in harmony, clean and chorused guitar, heavenly voices, each a perfect complement to one another. NIGHT TRAIN TO SOFIA and IBIZA SUNRISE are fantastic. The guitar solo on AVENUE D was a treat indeed, I could feel the mystery as I listened to THE MYSTERY OF B and there’s a sense of majesty and power on HEROES. Next is next for sure!

habermas2012 ,

From GAIA Prime Radio

Jeff’s most recent album, “Next,” is an exceptional, sophisticated, pleasant, and powerful collection of varied instrumental tapestries woven together with elements of jazz, funk, chill, and New Age – but with one common thread – Jeff’s exquisite horn (trumpet and/or flugelhorn) as the foremost voice. Recorded at Imaginary Road Studios in Vermont, the album was co-produced with Will Ackerman and Tom Eaton, and engineered and mixed by Eaton. For “Next,” Jeff also enlisted the services of the legendary duo of Chuck Rainey on bass and Bernard “Pretty” Purdie on drums, who together had previously provided the groove inducing rhythm section on many of the recordings of Steely Dan.

The album also includes guest performances by Tony Levin and Michael Manring on bass, Ricky Kej on bass, synthesizer, and keyboards, Tom Eaton on guitar, bass, Fender Rhodes, and other keyboards, Britt Thomas Brady on guitar, Fender Rhodes, synthesizers and keyboards, Catherine Marie Charlton and Philip Aaberg on piano, singers Melissa Kaplan and Noah Wilding, and Nile Rodgers, Shambhu Vineberg, Will Ackerman, Carl Weingarten, Scott Tarulli, Todd Boston and Taylor Barefoot on guitar, Vanil Veigas on sarangi, and Jeff Taboloff on saxophone.

For Jeff, this album is about rebirth and change, and tells the story of what’s next for him, both as a musician and in his life. As he states, “”Next” is about claiming who I am, and who I’ve always wanted to be. It’s why I live. It takes strength and power to step out into the unknown. Not everyone opens the door and takes the risk to try something new, something you’ve dreamed of for years. And with uncertainty comes the joy of freedom. This album represents my moment to truly make a statement…to claim my place as a musician with something important to share.”

The album begins with the title track, which artfully integrates contributions from various instrumental voices – horn, bass, percussion, synth, electric guitar, and even slide guitar – into an carefully crafted, airy, celestial, up-tempo, slinky, funky, rich, and occasionally bouncy trumpet driven groove, with obvious jazz influences. In fact, one of the standout qualities of this album in general is the masterful and ingenious ways in which a variety of musical elements are interwoven together seamlessly.

The second track, “Night Train To Sofia,” features Eastern-European styled ethereal and emotional vocals from Melissa Kaplan, and presents a slower, more steady rhythm, only subtly suggestive of a slow moving train, and with more mysterious, smoky, and decidedly sultry qualities.

Along similar lines, “Ibiza Sunrise” has slow, mystical, sultry, and seductive qualities, but with heavier percussion. And again, female “siren-like” voices provide a focal point, with a cleverly mixed backdrop of percussion, synthesizers, guitar, and Jeff’s flugelhorn.

“Gardens at Varanasi”, which features one of the most compelling lead melodies on the album, begins as a substantially downtempo, airy, celestial, and mysterious exploration, with Veigas’ sarangi playing adding distinctly Asian qualities. By the ending, however, the tempo builds a bit into a somewhat more jazzy, mellow beat.

“Half A Cookie,” which is probably the most ambient and chill style track on the album, also includes a notable ethnic music flavor — what is most certainly Native American inspired percussion — at its foundation. Otherwise, it it a slow, churning, study in acoustic minimalism.

“The Mystery of B,” features a slightly up-tempo bass guitar and percussion driven rhythm, but with slow, sultry horn that plays off that rhythm like the proverbial tortoise chasing the hare. Periodically rising to a climax, this track, along with “Heroes,” provide a bit more drama than any of the other tracks.

Two other tracks, “On Mother’s Day,” and “And We Dance” feature Jeff’s horn, accompanied only by light and emotive acoustic guitar. In the former case, it is the masterful guitarist Shambhu, accompanying on a track which he co-wrote with Oster as an emotional tribute to mothers everywhere. In the latter case, the tender, gentle, and exquisite acoustic guitar stylings of Will Ackerman provide the warm, introspective counterpoint to Jeff’s blissful flugelhorn. This song, co-written by Jeff and Will, is one of the stronger tracks on the album and one of our personal favorites.

Jeff’s cover of the Bonnie Raitt song “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” is a country slow dance inspired, sultry, soulful and piano enhanced lament. Philip Aeberg’s piano even occasionally adds a bit of country music inspired color around the edges.

In contrast, “Turn left at San Pancho” and “Avenue D” are more up-tempo, exquisitely layered, carefree, melodic, and unabashedly smooth jazz influenced tracks. The former features strong percussion, compelling bass, and light but sparkling electric piano as Jeff’s accompaniment, while the latter, probably the most up-tempo and joyful track on the album, sizzles with a percolating rhythm, weeping electric guitar, dazzling keyboard licks, and a superb trumpet and flugelhorn driven melody. Carefully placed environmental sound effects also enhance the playful nature of the song, making “Avenue D” our most favorite track on the album.

“Heroes,” with a major contribution from Jeff Taboloff’s soaring tenor saxophone, is probably the most complex, layered, and dynamic track on the album, and again one of our personal favorites. The opening, with an interweaving of Charlton’s piano and Tabaloff’s mellow saxaphone, provides one of the most interesting passages on the entire album. Eventually, though, it gives way to an up-tempo blending of piano, synthesizers, horns, guitar, and a more pronounced bass-heavy beat that really sizzles with more drama and a distinctly classic New Age jazz feel.

Overall, “Next” is a delightful album with outstanding musicianship and is certainly Jeff Oster’s best overall album thus far. We very highly recommend it.

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