WINNER! The 2011 ZMR Album of the Year!
Go ahead and add SURRENDER to your collection, and you’ll receive an AUTOGRAPHED color poster along with the Eco-Wallet (we’ve gone green!!!) adorned with the beautiful artwork of Ruth Ann Liu-Johnston and the sweet singing of Diane Arkenstone.
Quotes About “Surrender”
ECHOES – JOHN DILIBERTO
Surrender to Jeff Oster’s September CD of the Month – Sep 2011
It’s Ambient Electronica Lounge Sounds from Horn Player Jeff Oster as Echoes September 2011 CD of the Month
Until recently, you didn’t hear much trumpet outside of jazz in contemporary music. There’s Jon Hassell, Mark Isham and you’re pretty much done. But lately there’s been a cavalcade of trumpeters with electronic aspirations, including Nils Petter Molvaer, Ben Neill, Giorgio Li Calzi and Arve Henriksen. Jeff Oster should be on that list as well. Until his 2005 debut, Released, he was a journeyman horn player. Now he’s the go-to trumpeter for any number of musicians, including Windham Hill Records founder, Will Ackerman.
With this third CD, Jeff Oster enters edgier terrain with an even more personal sound. Surrender is an album of 21st century lounge music, morphed through soulful melodies, snaky grooves and film noir textures. “All That Matters” establishes the terrain with a swampy rhythm redolent of Jon Hassell’s sound from about 16 years ago, during his Blue Screen phase. Oster smears harmonized and echoing trumpet across the slow groove, intoning a dark, Miles-esque minimalist melody.
With a trumpet sound that seems as if it were blown in Rudy Van Gelder’s studio circa 1958 and then electrified, Jeff Oster has made music for dark nights and rain-swept city streets. But this is thoroughly modern music which is by turns growling, slinky, seductive and trancey. He spaces out completely on “53 Mirrors”, echoing his flugelhorn against a cycle of tuned percussion sounds and swirling, tremulous synthesizers. Oster loves playing these long, legato lines, leaving notes hanging sustained above the firmament like frozen skyways.
While Oster’s previous album, True, featured many guest musicians, Surrender is mostly a two-man show. He’s joined by Bryan Carrigan, who co-wrote all but three tracks and co-produced the album in addition to programming and playing keyboards. The lone signature guest is Diane Arkenstone who goes Donna Summers-breathy on the title track and plays the role of the affirming chorus of Oster’s philosophical musings on “The Voice.”
Jeff Oster might want to leave the lyric and poetry writing behind, but he’s found a personal voice for his horns. While the influences are apparent – Miles, Hassell, Isham – he’s synthesized them into his own mood-evoking music: a dark, smoke-filled lounge of liquid neon and tarnished chrome.
Surrender is the Echoes CD of the Month for September.
– John Diliberto
THE BORDERLAND – JOHN PETERS
Jeff Oster – Surrender (Retso Records RR11004)
There is a bit of a conundrum with Surrender, the new album by multi- instrumentalist Jeff Oster – for a start is it Jazz or New Age, or perhaps exotic electronica? Truth is you have to listen to it yourself and decide which musical category it falls within. For me it is a very exotic mix of Jazz flugelhorn and trumpet bedded into a series of electronica and ambient soundscapes, with added vocals.
There are only three musicians involved on this album: Jeff Oster – brass, synths, loop programming, vocals, Bryan Carrigan – sound design, synths, drum programming, and Diane Arkenstone – vocals. This is an interesting mix of styles and techniques, Mr Oster’s aerie flugelhorn and trumpet float whispery over the ambient electronics, sunk sometimes so low into the audio mix as to be a ghost of what should be, the notes aerated and detached, seemingly hanging in the air. To this voices whisper, Ms Arkenstone’s delightful vocals drift through and it all means… What? I’m not sure really, but I like the intrigue it engenders. Mr Oster’s brass playing is reminiscent of late period Miles Davis, melodic yet otherworldly, and the electronic soundscapes are very chill out room. And there is an innate coolness running throughout the album, the music is just begging to be used in some art house movie soundtrack. I’ve played Surrender several times now and it just grows more interesting each time, the flugelhorn, in particular, has a dynamic and sound so unique and dramatic. The eleven track titles are: All That Matters, Você Quer Dançar, Nikki’s Dream, The Voice, Essence of Herb, Surrender, 2 Di 4, The Theology of Success, Beautiful Silence, 53 Mirrors, Enlightened Darkness. I’m not sure what it all means, but I like it and it’s an album that invites you to investigate it again and again. Highly Recommended. Available from Amazon MP3, CD Baby, iTunes and other retailers for download or as a CD.
– John M Peters
Mixed by Bryan Carrigan
Produced by Bryan Carrigan and Jeff Oster
Mastered by Steve Hall at Future Disc Mastering
© 2011 Retso Records
℗ 2011 Retso Records