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Keith Oxman / Frank Morelli

The Ox-Mo Incident

Review by Gary Hill

This is a collaboration between tenor saxophonist Keith Oxman and bassoonist Frank Morelli. They are backed by three jazz musicians, making it a quintet. The music here is definitely of the traditional jazz variety, but there is a decent amount of range. This never feels stale or redundant. In fact, it is effective from start to finish.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2022  Volume 3. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2022.

Track by Track Review
Happy Talk
There is a real cheery old-school jazz vibe and groove on the menu here. This is entertaining stuff.
Full Moon and Empty Arms
Here we get a slower number that's quite evocative and powerful.
The Surrey With the Fringe on Top
This old chestnut gets a playful arrangement and performance. It's energetic and full of class and style. There is a cool rhythm section solo later in this number
Baubles, Bangles and Beads
A satisfylng and fun grovoe, I dig the rhythm section on this. Of coruse, you can't overlook the great melodies and jamming, either.
The Ox-Mo Incident
The title track is a dramatic number. It seems to take more chances with its jamming and musical directions. It doesn't lose anything for that adventurous take. In fact, it stands as one of the highlights of the set, and leans toward fusion at times. I love the bass solo later in the number.
Three for Five
I really love the evocative nature of this piece. The piano here is so beautiful and powerful, and the whole song just has a dramatic magic to it.
Strangers in Paradise
This is another fun jazz groove. It's tasty and quite entertaining. We get another cool bass solo movement on this piece.
Poor Butterfly
A slower moving track, this has some particularly strong instrumental work. It's another with plenty of emotion packed into it.
A Wasp in Search of a Hart and Lung
Given the title, you'd expect something more up-tempo, right? Well, that's what we get. This is another fun romp. It's not a big change, but it just works really well. There is a bass solo followed by a drum solo later.
Pavanne
This slower cut is dramatic and beautiful. It has some great, albeit somewhat subdued, musical moments.
I Could Have Danced All Night
More energized, this is another potent jazz treatment. While not a big surprise, it's classy and entertaining.
 
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