Oslandailey Jazztet/Raleigh Dailey/Miles Osland: The Mendoza Line Apr08

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Somewhat Atonal or Dissonant
Mark Custom Record Label - Mark Records: "The goal of 'Mark' is to offer the finest recording services, with reasonable prices, outstanding customer service and unbeatable quality."
Release date: 2013-01-29

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Osland / Dailey Jazztet: The Mendoza Line

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The jazz album The Mendoza Line features thirteen original tracks composed by Raleigh Dailey. The Mendoza Line, for those who are not familiar with the term, refers to a threshold of mediocrity, named after the decidedly average baseball hitter Mario Mendoza. Whether the album was titled for humor or out of modesty, I agree with Miles Osland who writes, “This recording is documentation of and testament to Raleigh’s profound musicianship, creativity and diverse prolific writing - eons above the Mendoza Line!”

The Osland / Dailey Jazztet, a post-bop group, is made up of Miles Osland on the soprano and alto saxophones as well as the flutes, Raleigh Dailey himself on the piano and keyboard, Danny Cecil on acoustic and electric bass and either John Willmarth or Paul Deatherage on the drums, depending on the track. Miles Osland and Raleigh Dailey are both University of Kentucky jazz professors - high quality musicians. Osland’s upper octave saxophone playing is quite accomplished, and his style definitely reflects his influences in colorful big-band music.

It's difficult to categorize Dailey’s thirteen pieces as being in any one particular style, but they would be accessible to most modern mainstream jazz listeners and are executed par excellence. A few of the tracks sound strikingly similar to the music of Weather Report, specifically during Weather Report’s jazz funk- and groove-oriented phase in the mid-70s. However, the Jazztet plays with a much more modern sound and without the jazz fusion influence of electronics.

All in all, I found the tunes to be quite catchy; I tended to walk away humming or whistling a track whenever the disc concluded. The funky swing music style urges spirited playing from all the musicians and I’m sure you will have a blast listening to them jam.

The Osland / Dailey Jazztet perform the opening track "The Mendoza Line" live at the Montreux Jazz Festival.