Oshe logo
Press Articles

Relix.com - Review August 2005
Jambase.com - Review May 2005
Glide Magazine.com - Review April 2005
Jambands.com - Review April 2005
Meniscus Magazine.com - Review March 2005
AlbanyJazz.com - Review March 2005
Jammed Online Music Magazine - Review March 2005
State of Mind Magazine - Review February 2005
Matt Shapiro, Music Journalist - Review February 2005
Times Herald Record - Review February 2005
7 Days Magazine - Review February 2005
AlgoRhythms.net - Review January 2005
State of Mind Magazine - Review January 2005
Kynd Music.com - Review January 2005
City Magazine from Rochester, NY - Review December 2004
State of Mind Magazine from Burlington, NY - Review November 2004
Albany Stage.com - Review November 2004
Claremont Eagle Times from Lebanon, NY - August 2004
Muse Magazine from Ithaca, NY - Review June 2004
Overground Magazine from Binghamton, NY - Review June 2004
Gazzette Newspaper from Albany, NY - Review March 2004
Spectrum Magazine from Buffalo, NY - Review January 2004
City Magazine from Rochester, NY - Review November 2003
Seven Days Magazine from Burlington, VT - September 2003

^ Top of Page ^
By Mike Greenhaus
Review August 30, 2005

For Oshe, songs are still an essential part of the jamband experience. After landing in western New York four years ago, keyboardist Jake Savage, drummer Adam Ochshorn and bassist Ken Love began experimenting with a variety of improv-oriented styles before linking up with guitarist Will Senisi. Adding a cool, metallic edge to its sound, Oshe developed its alien-space rock style. Despite its ability to segue between songs and styles with ease, Savage believes songwriting is still the band’s secret weapon. “Jamming is one area of the music, but we really wanted to go in a more song-oriented direction,” Savage says. “We’re working on cutting down on excess playing and making sure all our pockets are super tight.” The results are documented on the group’s latest live album The Good Book, which owes as much to Rage Against the Machine as it does to Herbie Hancock. After clocking in another 150 dates next year, Oshe’s alien-space rock may very well make its way across the universe.

^ Top of Page ^

By Shain Shapiro
Review May 18th, 2005

First and foremost, the artwork on The Good Book is captivating. This album is a perfect example of how powerful the art can be if it is actively used to complement the music. The pencil drawings that are derived from each song title, depicting themes of corporate media control, evangelism, and technology's stranglehold on society, are simply amazing. Symbolic elements that could not be funneled through instruments glare directly at the listener, adding supplementary thematic resonance to the music. But do not buy the album just for the artwork because the music on it is just as charming.

Oshe have grown up and out while heavily touring throughout the past year. Recorded over the span of a month last September in four venues (although more than half of the record is from one show), The Good Book is a fluid exercise in funky jazz, laced with improvisation, hard-hitting melodies, and virtuosic musicianship. From the opening Fender Rhodes melody on "Treachery," Oshe assert confidence in their craft, and that notion entangles the entire listen, regardless of whether the quartet is experimenting with the influence of Ornette Coleman or Karl Denson.

There are some extremely impressive moments on this live set, most notably the free jazz jaunt of "Chinese Wings," which is complete with spirited drum work and advanced technical precision, despite each member venturing off into their own musical realm throughout the nine-minute track. The following song, the rock influenced "Dragon," acts as "Chinese Wings" antithesis, but it is equally entrancing. Free, ethereal improvisation is replaced by progressive metal-laced rock, showcasing Oshe's versatility within the jazz realm and the abundance of unique sounds that can be drawn upon from the jazz scaffold. Moments of The Motet, Medeski, Martin & Wood, and Tiny Universe hover throughout the listen, but rather than just expanding on influences, Oshe carve out their own originality, fed on the fumes of their budding maturity and their comfort in playing together.

The Good Book is the album Oshe have always been capable of releasing, and it is leaps and bounds above their modest debut Going Dark. While the debut was written and recorded during the embryonic stages of the band, The Good Book sounds riper, influenced by the wealth of experience gained on the road and the toughness created by those experiences. This is smoky, brash, improvisational jazz from a group of lads who are only going to improve. Couple that with some magnificent artwork, and you have got yourself a very good book.

^ Top of Page ^

By Chad Berndtson
Glide Magazine.com
Review April 8th, 2005

One of the most interesting groups currently emanating from the suddenly-relevant-again upstate New York experimental music scene, Oshe is a remarkably interesting, futuristic electro-groove beast that, in all of its jams – or at least the ones captured on this disc from several dates in fall ‘04 – are short on gimmickry and long on chops and group interaction ideas. First bit of evidence: these selections together run close to 80 minutes, and the time passes swiftly with nothing less than riveting interplay throughout.

The main selling point on tracks like “Treachery,” “Chinese Wings” and “Surrender to Benefit” is how each member of this four piece folds his instrumental voice into each of the other three. They claim they take their cues from the Herbie-era Miles Davis groups and Mr. Hancock’s Headhunters, and instead of just wearing those influences proudly they prove they’ve actually learned something from said giants about the nature, fundamentals and necessities of four-man interplay. Radiohead and Floyd are justifiable reference points, too: screeching guitar hooks and ambient soundscapes dominate. More, please.

^ Top of Page ^

By Jesse Jarnow
Review April 2nd, 2005

It's nice to know that upstate New York can still breed jambands -- and Oshe seems potentially like one of the best. An instrumental quartet with chops to spare, The Good Book contains a dozen live cuts recorded in the late summer of last year, delving deep into exploratory fusion and live electronics.

Equal parts Miles Davis and Radiohead, Oshe seems ready to carry the mission of improvised music into the 21st century gimmick-free. That they have no obvious hook -- like, say, Particle's amped-up, tongue-gnawing dance grooves or Umphrey's McGee's shred-heavy riffage -- could sadly prove to be a problem in terms of attracting an audience. But, frankly, they don't need one. The jams are enthralling, the dynamics are tasteful, and the music moves fluidly. The Good Book is almost a full 80 minutes, but barely feels it. Oblique Strategies sez: "(Organic) machinery." And if you like adventure in your jazz, I think you’ll react favorably.

^ Top of Page ^

Meniscus Magazine.com
Review March 31st, 2005

On The Good Book, the groove quartet Oshe (pronounced “ah-shay”), creates a well-composed and groovy sample of their live shows. Recorded in August and September of 2004 at shows in New York and Connecticut, the CD is packed full of high-energy jams and raving solos.

On “Treachery” and ‘The Good Book”, the first and last tracks of the CD, the bands talents are highlighted and extended in to long jam sessions. Each member is given his moment in the spotlight with wild jazzy improvised solos. All tracks on The Good Book are consistent, but these two tracks stand out from the others as composed, technical, and cohesive.

Drummer Adam Ochshorn plays high-energy dominant drums, while bassist Ken Love lays a consistent groove. Keys player Jake Savage and Will Senisi on guitar add rhythmic chaos that creates a CD full of structured improvisation.

Oshe are very busy this spring with tour dates scheduled almost every night of the week in New England and New York. I am confident that Oshe’s feral, disorganized and sometimes-furious sound should be heard in person. I look forward to seeing this band progress and develop into a fixture of the live music scene.

^ Top of Page ^

By J. Hunter
Review March 2005

It’s fitting that Oshe’s new disc, The Good Book, has artwork reminiscent of underground cartoonists R. Crumb and Vaughn Bode. The musical roots of Oshe go back to that same time period – specifically, to the time when Miles Davis’ switch to electric music (symbolized by Bitches Brew, but hinted at by Filles de Kilimanjaro and In A Silent Way) stunned and shocked jazz listeners’ comfort zone. To this day, Miles’ decision is still a point of fervent debate. While The Good Book stuns and shocks in places, it pretty much grooves all over the place. And that’s a very good thing.

The first notes of the driving opening track, “Treachery”, make it very clear: This is going to be a fun, challenging, and – above all – engaging trip into musical hyperspace. None of the cuts on The Good Book wants you to sit quietly in your seat and admire the proceedings from afar. This music grabs you and pulls you closer to the speakers, so you can see the color and detail of every picture it paints. And if you bob your head and shake your butt while you watch… well, that’s cool, too.

The primary colors of Oshe’s paintings come from keyboardist Jake Savage and guitarist Will Senisi. Throughout the disc, Savage establishes the musical direction and then Senisi turns on the afterburners with guitar lines reminiscent of John McLaughlin. Occasionally – for instance, when Senisi’s lines on the title track stray towards heavy metal – there are echoes of another Miles alum, Mike Stern. While Savage’s use of synthesizer is hit-or-miss, and is better when the synth is used as an accent and not a solo instrument, his best work is done on the Fender Rhodes. His solos shine and bubble, and he uses the instrument to great effect when adding splashes of brightness and contrast to Senisi’s soaring solos.

While the lead players are Savage and Senisi, The Good Book is firmly anchored by the rhythm section of drummer Adam Ochshorn and bassist Ken Love. Their solid foundation allows the soloists to explore the surrounding landscape at will. Ochshorn and Love also add other influences to the music; Love’s bassline in “World Anthem” references Dizzy’s “A Night In Tunisia”, while Ochshorn’s multifaceted percussion work on the opening of “The Vein” helps Savage create the feeling of Coltrane’s “Acknowledgment”. This is all part of the group’s talent with texture and nuance. They are not just loud for loud’s sake, a frequent criticism of electric jazz. They can be meditative one moment (“The Vein”, “Dragon”), loping and playful the next. (“Ba Dubba”) Whatever the context, this music is about substance, not shrieking.

I love the fact that The Good Book was recorded live. (“Ba Dubba” comes from a date at Café Zaquor in Gloversville.) It adds immediacy to the music. The players have to be “in the moment”, because you can’t do re-takes on stage. I must say I would have liked to hear more of the crowd’s reactions – their only extended appearance comes during Ochshorn’s outstanding solo on “Chinese Wings”. But in the end, it doesn’t matter how they reacted that evening. It only matters how you react now. And if you like adventure in your jazz, I think you’ll react favorably.

^ Top of Page ^

By Sharla "Skyspirit" Shotwell
Jammed Online Music Magazine
Review March 2005

Generally when one thinks of "The Good Book," one doesn't think of a Northeastern four piece instrumental quartet. However, Oshe is here to change all that with their most recent release "The Good Book." Oshe is Jake Savage on Fender Rhodes and keyboards, Ken Love on bass, Will Senisi on guitar and Adam Ochschorn on drums who define their band as "an instrumental improvisationally based groove quartet." However, unlike traditional jazz, Oshe also takes on the stylings of jam. Oshe's broad spectrum of global groove licks and tight improvisation really shines on their most recent release "The Good Book."

Oshe has played to full houses around the Northeast including the well known Knitting Factory in New York City and the Mexicali Blues Cafe in New Jersey.

In addition, Oshe has shared the stages with bands including, but not limited to, The Big Wu, Jazz Mandolin Project, Max Creek, Topaz and Umphrey's McGee. All of which are notably some of the best jam bands today.

Oshe's "The Good Book" offers the audience a combination of tight hypnotic trance and dance grooves as well as a bit of everything found in groove fusion today on all the tracks. Taken from various recordings and live shows, recorded and engineered by Spence Kiddle and Joel Emerick and later remastered by Superdigital in Portland, Oregon. "The Good Book" while being an all instrumental work really takes the audience on an enjoyable ride of the imagination through sound. Whether through solo instrumental grooves or grooves with all the instruments, Oshe does a great job at taking the listener on a journey then returning from the outer limits of sound. In addition, it is clear that the four musicians in Oshe are on a shared road together yet each with their own speciality in the creation of their own form of individual as well as a shared magic through music.

Ba Dubba (track 2) offers some quite interesting sound effects and loops within the music itself. For on Ba Dubba it's almost like the songs are enveloped in the sound effects, if one can be caught into a jam, it is here with Oshe. While I'm not one to generally enjoy a lot of electronica I'd have say that in my opinion Oshe has been one of the best electronic jam bands that I've heard to date.

In addition, Oshe uses some interesting synthesized sounds, reminiscent of video games yet done in a way that wraps the listener around the song and takes one on a trip to another dimension. Oshe also produces some quite heavy trance influences almost effortlessly it seems and overall provides a great blend of rock, jam and jazz. Some of Oshe's more catchy instrumental phrasing and amazing drum work can also be found within the song Chinese Wings (track 5). I enjoyed "The Good Book" overall. I also find it refreshing to have discovered a new instrumental quartet that continues to create a fresh groove fusion sound that includes both electronic as well as traditional style jazz and jams. In addition, a nice variety of sound since a few songs are more jazzy while others are more closely tied to jam. Oshe is a truly magical blend of talent and "The Good Book" just one ingredient of their potion. For information, tour dates or to purchase Oshe's music check out their website at www.oshe.org

^ Top of Page ^

By Chris Clark
State of Mind Magazine
Review February 2005

After an extensive touring schedule in 2004 that saw the band perform over 150 shows throughout most areas of the Northeast, New York's Oshe has released The Good Book, an insightful look into a blossoming and talented young band. Recorded live this past August and September, The Good Book offers a tasteful glimpse into the multi-faceted sound of these groove-oriented youngsters and gives the listener a hint to why they've been packing rooms from New York to Burlington.

"Treachery," the album's commencing track, instantly portrays the band's jazzy instrumental approach, showcasing Jake Savage's choice keyboard and Fender Rhodes licks as bassist Ken Love's thick bass holds down the groove. Immediately, Oshe's maturity shimmers through, revealing a band that's come a long way since the release of their first album, Going Dark. Touching upon a taste of smooth electronica, "Treachery" is a firm starting point for the ensuing groovy, MMW-esque "Ba Dubba." The semi-distorted tone of Will Senisi's guitar shines in "Chinese Wings," as does the solid rhythmic collaboration of Love and drummer Adam Ochshorn.

Presenting one of the most powerful moments on The Good Book is "Dragon," a nine-plus minute exploratory adventure boasting skillful guitar-keyboard interplay between Savage and Senisi. These two would convene several times throughout the album, further becoming a true testament to Oshe's live sound. Metal meets jazz on "Regicide," as heavily distorted guitar collides with pulsating bass lines and king-killing Fender progressions. The Good Book flows smoothly into "T & A," which suggests a more complex and intricate side of Oshe, delving deeper into dark improvisational space until the album's concluding title track, "The Good Book." Clocking in at thirteen minutes, "The Good Book" shifts from melodic dissonance to drum pounding improvisational chaos, much akin to early '70s Miles Davis. This track best summarizes live Oshe, becoming a fitting conclusion to this young band's sophomore recorded effort.

Oshe's The Good Book presents a glance into the future of a young and promising group of musicians. Though rough at times, the band's live sounds offers some explosive improvisational moments and plenty of well-crafted compositional pieces. They take challenging musical pieces head-on, and love doing it. More than willing to take chances and challenge themselves, their listeners and their music, Oshe is a band with a lot of promise and the talent to take them places. Look out for the band in February as they travel throughout New York and Pennsylvania.

^ Top of Page ^

By Matt Shapiro
Free-Lance Music Journalist
Review February 13, 2005

At a time when it seems most instrumental bands are traveling down the electronic highway blazed by bands such as Particle, the New Deal, and STS9, it is refreshing to find a young instrumental unit who turn to the fusion of jazz, funk and rock as their inspiration. The Good Book the new live release from the upstate NY quartet Oshe is a glowing showcase of new interpretations on this 70's style.

Oshe demonstrates a sharp understanding of the classic genre right from the get-go on Treachery the long composition opening the album. It opens with Jake Savage's drippy keyboards which are reminiscent of Herbie Hancock. Adam Ochshorn on drums and Ken Love on bass come in providing a thick chugging rhythm. The track then switches to a snaky guitar section by Will Senisi, before ending with an all out keyboard synthesizer assault by Savage.

The album is surprisingly focused for a live effort. All the tracks are well orchestrated showing a maturity beyond the member's years. The band makes every note count and at no point do they ever seem to meander in their compositions. Oshe does a good job of not making the proceedings feel or sound like a live recording. They capture the energy of a live performance without falling into any of the pitfalls of the medium. At no point do they get showy and wander from the their structure and the only time crowd reaction is audible is during Ochshorn's extended drum solo in Chinese Wings, which works to enhance the energy of the solo.

The band's songs are varied and exploratory with a wide ranging scope. Influences rise to the surface in tracks such as The Vein, which hints at both the Hall of the Mountain King and the prog-explorations of Yes. The influence of the Mahavishnu Orchestra bleeds through on Chinese Wings. Through out the album shards of fusion masters such as the Headhunters as well as modern faithful such as Soulive and Rasinhill can be heard.

While most of the numbers on the Good Book are long compositions, the shorter tracks Ba Dubba and Regicide share a playful quality further rounding out the album.

All in all this is a strong effort from a band which clearly has both a deep understanding of its jazz roots and a bright future ahead of them.

^ Top of Page ^

By Josh Baron
New Paltz's Times Herald-Record
Review February 11, 2005

Oshe colors outside musical lines

"The most exciting music is the music you can't categorize because that means something new is happening," Jake Savage says with gusto. He speaks from personal experience. Oshe, the Schenectady-bred quartet for which Savage is a keyboardist, finds itself tripping over genre lines and industry pigeonholes like a drunken college kid trying to get back to the dorms after a big night out. "Categorization is something that arbitrarily divides music when anything but division is happening these days," Savage says. Rounded out by drummer Adam Ochshorn, bassist Ken Love and guitarist Will Senisi, the band, which performs Thursday at the Oasis Café in New Paltz, combines a jazz mentality with heavy doses of prog-rock riffing and electronica-eqsue texturing. Oshe, pronounced "ah-shay," is derived from the Portuguese word "Axé," a type of spirituality in Brazil. The literal translation, "energy," is apropos for these twentysomethings; they've all been playing vigorously since they were in single-digit ages growing up in upstate Niskayuna, north of Albany.

ALL STUDIED CLASSICAL MUSIC on various instruments before finding their respective callings around junior high. High school proved to be pivotal as all that awkward, quirky energy congealed. By default, the like-minded music-obsessed musicians formed a hub of creativity (though Senisi is younger and joined several years after the original 2000 lineup).

"The scene was 10 to 15 kids and everyone was into roughly the same kinds of music," recalls Savage. "Somewhere between Phish, classic rock, funk and free jazz. And everyone jammed together pretty frequently. It was quite a melting pot of musical ideas. None of us realized until we went to different colleges that this type of scene did not exist in most other towns." If the improvisation and musical exploration of Phish is like an EKG blip - with dramatic and jagged sparks of energy - then Oshe's music is like a flowing sine wave - with gradual swells and dissipations of sonic intensity; more Medeski Martin and Wood than moe.

The group's latest album, "The Good Book," is a live highlight reel of such stuff. It provides a good forecast for its performances, including the dirty, psychedelic jazz of "Treachery," the tension-ridden mystery of "Chinese Wings" with its stalking, big arena guitar riffs, or the A Go Go-era John Scofield feel of "Ba Dubba." The rhythm section, particularly Ochshorn's melodic drumming, provides a stellar platform from which the guitar and keys can explore.

"Though we don't like exactly the same things, there is an enormous amount of music that all of us swear by as a group," says Savage of Oshe's influences. "On any given road trip we listen to everything from Nine Inch Nails, Rage Against the Machine, Nirvana and Radiohead to Bill Frisell, Paul Motian, Miles Davis and John Coltrane."

IT'S THROUGH THIS inclusive aesthetic that Oshe has found such resonance within the jamband community. "What people call the 'jamband scene' is such a huge variety of music," says Savage. "These people in general are far and away the most accepting of all types of music. This is why so many bands that aren't a traditional jamband - like Charlie Hunter and Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, who 10 to 15 years ago would have taken the jazz touring route - now take the jamband one." Oshe have shared the stage with such jamband scene stalwarts as Max Creek, Umphrey's McGee, The Big Wu, Jazz Mandolin Project and Brothers Past. "The scene is wide open right now, the sky is the limit," says Savage. "Now is the time to make it happen. We play three to four times a week and sometimes more, and play all over the Northeast. So if you live within this huge region, keep your eye out."

If you Go! ...
What: Oshe
Where: Oasis Café, 58 Main St., New Paltz
When: 10:30 p.m. Feb. 17
Tickets: $3
Call: 255-2400

^ Top of Page ^

By Mike Spies
Burlington's 7 Days Magazine
Review February 2, 2005

Although the upstate New York-based Oshe offer plenty of extended solos and exploratory grooves, the instrumental group isn't easily pigeonholed. With a nod to Herbie Hancock's far-out funk as well as the molten riffs of John Mclaughlin, Oshe (pronounced ah-shay) aren't your typical patchouli-soaked meanderers. Musical discipline and moments of genuine risk-taking set the band apart from the growing horde of neo-jam acts.

Which isn't to say Oshe doesn't have a formula. By the end of opening track "Treachery," it's pretty easy to understand what The Good Book is all about -- namely, rock-solid grooves that blossom into mildly psychedelic opuses. Ken Love's muscular bass lines form the foundation for guitarist Will Senisi's fusion-inspired fretboard runs, while keyboardist Jake Savage fills the empty spaces with chordal stabs and swirling synth pads. One of the most "melodic" drummers I've heard in some time, Adam Ochshorn's fills are highly orchestrated and impeccably executed.

"Chinese Wings" is a good example of Oshe's prog leanings; multiple time shifts and a repetitive, atonal riff put the tune more in league with Mahavishnu Orchestra than moe. Clever and fun, the song is probably even more engaging live.

A sleek groove and space-age guitar figure make "Regicide" a standout cut. Trance inducing rhythms, adventurous sonic textures and a subtly menacing arrangement give the track a vibe rarely found in the feel-good world of jam-rock. Sure, you can twirl-dance to it, but there are enough musical twists to entertain the eggheads.

Despite the title, "T & A" is hardly a frat-party anthem. Metallic and foreboding, the song provides Senisi with a great opportunity to show off his jazz/prog chops. Keeping the chaos in check, Ochshorn's precision snare blasts navigate the band through bursts of six-string splatter.

For a self-released effort, The Good Book's production holds up well enough, especially in quieter moments. Keyboardist Savage is given plenty of breathing room on the title track, space he uses to fine effect. As the tune builds to its shimmering conclusion, you realize these guys aren't just coasting.

It's nice to hear a group that pushes further than most contemporary jam-bands. Oshe obviously take their compositions seriously -- if they keep at it, they might serve as a link between modern groove-rock and the fusion groups of yore. Hear 'em at Nectar's this Thursday, February 3, with The Breakfast.

^ Top of Page ^

By Michael Witthaus
Review January 12, 2005

The second CD from the young jazz fusion wizards doesn't disappoint.

The jazz-fusion quartet Oshe chose to make their second CD in the clubs where their music is gaining a growing following. “The Good Book,” their first release as a quartet, retains the spontaneity of their live shows, but fortunately is much more disciplined than those affairs tend to be. A crisp mix by producers Spence Kiddle and Joel Emerick helps things as well.

Musically, the group has evolved into a more playful combo; the addition of guitarist Will Senisi has freed all four musicians to release their inner children. Jake Savage’s keyboard work is giddy, in a way that recalls Herbie Hancok’s “Headhunters.” Particularly tasty are the polyrhythmic “Ba Dubba” and the trippy “Treachery.” The latter song’s groove is opened up considerably from what they were playing in shows last summer.

The title cut is a 13-minute magnum opus. Savage alternately offers swirling synthesizers and Sergio Leone-like Fender Rhodes samples over Ken Love’s pulsing bass lines. Guitarist Senisi reverb-drenched lead and drummer Adam Ochshorn’s stalking beat produce a work that stands up well despite its’ length.

Ochshorn’s drumming is a marvel to behold. What’s most impressive on “The Good Book” is his overall restraint. Technically, he’s scary good. It looks as if when Oshe is playing “for the record,” Adam Ochshorn can go to an even higher level.

^ Top of Page ^

By Billy LeRoux
Burlington's State of Mind Magazine
Review January 2005

Revolution Hall in Troy NY recently showcased two of Upstate New York’s top up-and-coming bands. The Niche and Oshe have begun to make some noise on the Northeast circuit and fans and critics alike are beginning to take notice.

The Rochester quartet known as “The Niche” regularly performs at Milestones back on their home turf where 300 plus fans congregate. These guys are approaching their fifth year anniversary and are expanding their fan base rapidly as they begin to perform throughout the Northeast. With appearances at the U.S. Olympic Freestyle Kayaking Trials, Sterling Stage and Hobofest along with stops at Beardslee Castle in Little Falls NY, Nectars in Burlington, Crossroads in Palmer MA, Hitchcock’s in Plattsburgh, Kings Tavern in Saratoga, and now Revolution Hall in Troy, the word on this band is spreading.

With strong influences from Zappa, The Dead, Phish, and Ween, The Niche has crafted many well-written songs that are obviously influenced by the aforementioned bands, yet take those influences to different levels and reach new frontiers. The Niche can transport you to that special jam space where the music swirls in apparent chaos and then gently bring you down into an ambient jam, and they can do it as well as anyone.

On this night, The Niche performed segments from their “Stapler Saga”, and quickly performed “Bride of The Stapler>The Stapler>Curse of the Stapler” which extended into a 22 minute art rock jam triad. The Niche closed out their set with a smoking 15-minute “Kangaroo” which produced many smiles and nods of approval among the newly initiated. If seeing a talented developing band is your thing then The Niche is for you.

The Niche lineup consists of 22-year-old self-taught lead guitarist Eric Ward, 23-Year-old keyboardist Will O Reilly, 24-year-old drummer Jay Schreiber, and 27-year-old bassists Todd Nestor. Look for their Nicheland festival in Central NY in the Summer of 2005.

Oshe, an instrumental jazz-fusion ensemble in their early 20’s utilized this night to release their second CD entitled “The Good Book." The Good Book is a compilation of live cuts from their fall tour. While on fall tour, Oshe had the good fortune to open for The Jazz Mandolin Project at The Haunt in Ithaca. The JMP crew, apparently impressed with the quartet, invited them to open the following night at the Smith Opera House in Geneva. Oshe has shared the stage with other notable headliners including Umphrey's McGee, Max Creek, Brothers Past, Beneveneto/Russo Duo, and will be doing a short run with The Breakfast.

On this evening Oshe performed 8 of the 10 songs off their new release and mesmerized the audience with a 15 minute version of the cd title “The Good Book.”

While influenced by the jazz greats of past, Oshe breathes fresh new life into 70’s jazz fusion. Jake Savage tweaks his Fender Rhodes with an assortment of processors creating interesting soundscapes layered against the backbeat of Ken Love on bass, and Adam Ochshorn on drums. Lead guitarist Will Sensi provides sweet guitar fills reminiscent of John Scofield.

Oshe began performing in June of 2001 and have logged 265 shows to date from Pittsburgh PA to Wilmington Delaware to Burlington VT and Cape Cod MA. Oshe are usually booked 3 months in advance and intend on playing 180 gigs this year.

Both performances this night were accompanied by the Groovin Lumens light projection show that filled the 50-foot high back wall of the stage with swirling psychedelic images that danced with the music.

Recordings of these shows are available at bt.etree.org

^ Top of Page ^

By Dave Terpeny
Sr. Editor KyndMusic
Review January 2005

I'm not sure if this New York-based band named themselves after the Yoruba god of thunder and lightning or the federal government's Office of Safety, Health, and Environment. I am sure, however, of the fact that both would be oddly appropriate.

You see, this instrumental quartet is both full of thunder and lightning as well as a threat to your safety and health. Let me explain.

The bass-heavy rhythms rumble and grumble, teased and tormented by trancelike keyboards, and held together by a stunning old school jazz sensibility. It is a backlit thunderstorm of music, the kind where the sky turns that odd shade of electric green, the kind that frightens and intrigues you.

Also, like the lightning the storm produces, it's a threat to your health too. One, it will make you get up and move and exert yourself. Hell, I'm dancing now. Ever try and type while dancing? Not for the meek I assure you.

Secondly it will trash your equilibrium. Channeling Miles Davis, David Gilmour and the more modern sounds of house electronic music, it spins, whirls, twirls and melts all around you, dripping up the walls, through the windows, under the floor, and over the ceiling. Try typing when the letters start melting. I dare you.

Thirdly, Oshe's The Good Book will impress you so much, you'll go into Beatlemania mode. You will start screaming at the top of your lungs for no reason, fluttering your hands and crying. You'll be so overwhelmed that eventually you will collapse in a faint. Can you type when you're unconscious? I thought not.

So there you have it. Oshe, The God Of Thunder and Health Hazards has arrived. They will amaze, frighten and over joy you. They will also make it extremely difficult to type but don't pay any attention to that. Just stand on your head, chew some gum to balance the air pressure, close your eyes and crank The Good Book. It doesn't get much better than that.

^ Top of Page ^

By Saby Reyes-Kulkarni
Rochester's City Magazine
Review Dec 22nd, 2004

It's always cool to watch one form of music creep into another over time, and this Albany-area instrumental quartet makes good on jazz's steadily building influence on the jam scene. Unafraid of the "f" word (fusion), Oshe (pronounced "ah-shay") blends early '70s Herbie Hancock and Miles Davis with accessible funk grooves and, most importantly, makes it go down smooth. The band seems to grasp intuitively that a great way to sell repetition is to make it danceable. Oshe also excels in patience and really knows how to build, with Rhodes, organ, and guitar answering each other like bird calls in treetops over a sparse rhythmic valley. Some of the moods on latest album "The Good Book" would fit right in alongside the elegant jazz-pop that filled the airwaves (radio and TV) with so much beauty in the '70s while we barely noticed. Here's another chance -- and a good bet for the post-Christmas blahs, even if jambands or fusion aren't necessarily your speed.

^ Top of Page ^

By Mike McKinley
Burlington's State of Mind Magazine
Review November 2004

It's not very often that a band is able to play music with such sophistication at an early stage of their existence, but Oshe ("Ah-Shay"), an improvisational, instrumental quartet from the Capitol Region of New York, is one those bands. Jake Savage (Rhodes, keys), Ken Love (bass), and Adam Ochshorn (drums) began playing together while attending high school in Niskayuna, NY, and at that ripe age they began to immerse themselves in late 60's and early 70's jazz fusion and progressive rock. In the fall of 2003, Will Senisi, a guitarist whose skills belie his young age, joined the band and immediately they felt chemistry and potential.

This precocious quartet is dark and adventurous, with their foundation lying in the intricate and aggressive drumming of Ochshorn and the infectious bass-work of Love. It's groove-oriented and has a mysterious edge. Senisi plays a beautifully toned Carvin guitar that complements Savage's Fender Rhodes, and together they explore harmonic possibilities and countermelodies as well as playful vamps to trade off on. When they get cookin', you can't help but bite down on your bottom lip and bob your head to the tastiness of the musical expression. They hint at the influential sounds of the 1970's Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock ensembles, as well as displaying contemporary flavors reminiscent of Schleigho; Medeski, Martin, and Wood; and Soulive.

Original compositions like "Treachery", "World Anthem", "Crispin", and "Regicide" serve as more than bases to improvise off of; they are statements - dream-like and well thought-out with looming intensity. The "return to the head" improvisational styling commonly found in jazz and boogaloo compositions is mostly avoided in Oshe's writing. When they stretch out in sections of compositions, they tend to dig deeper and tell a different tale. Instead of returning to the head, they try to take different shifts harmonically, melodically, rhythmically, or even by providing a colorful variation on the theme. The idea is to treat the piece of music as a good story. They have embraced the philosophy that every part of a composition has to be of equal importance. It's like internal musical quality control; if either the intro, bridge, melody or improvisation section of a tune isn't as strong as the next, there's no sense of even playing it. Though an ambitious standard, it is one that Oshe upholds.

After taking time off this past summer to rejuvenate their musical creativity, the quartet is out this fall playing four or five nights a week. A band with a rigorous work ethic, they play gigs Tuesday through Saturday, practice on Monday, and take Sunday off. It's paying off musically, as the band's communication has grown immensely from their first heavy touring stint in the winter and spring. At such a young age, they already display patience in their improvisation - listening and not overplaying. With their ambitious touring schedule, they're diving into a new, open chapter where the musical potential can unfold and a great statement can be made.

In the next year Oshe plans to play between 150 and 200 shows, slowly spreading their touring area outside the Northeast. They will release a live album - their first as a quartet tentatively scheduled for December 1st.

^ Top of Page ^

By Billy LeRoux
Albany Stage
Review November 24, 2004

Oshe On Their Way

The Capital area jazz fusion quartet known as Oshe appears to be well on their way to stepping up in the music world. After 2 years of solid touring through the Northeast Corridor and logging between 150-200 shows each of those years, the band is gaining the attention of some industry heavyweights.

Oshe is an instrumental jazz fusion band that molds classic jazz influences with modern day progressive grooves.

On Friday November 19, Oshe opened a show for The Jazz Mandolin Project in Ithaca NY at The Haunt. JMP , a project lead by Jamie Masefield rotates a number of outstanding musicians in and out of their line up including Phish drummer Jon Fishman. Jamie was so impressed with Oshe that he asked them to join JMP following evening at the Smith Opera House in Geneva for another opening slot. Additionally, Oshe has been asked to open another show for JMP at The Tralf in Buffalo. Masefield who has shared the stage with many including Bob Weir & Ratdog and String Cheese Incident is considered a mandolin pioneer who transforms the listeners perspective about what a mandolin should sound like. Gaining the attention of Masefield is big stuff.

Oshe also was featured in the first addition of music magazine State of Mind being published out of Burlington Vermont by the folks at Live Music Beth. Burlington, being the center of the Northeast music scene, will also have a chance to see Oshe, when they perform at the legendary Nectars on December 1st.

It has been a long time since I have seen a move like this, where a well established band like JMP takes a band under it's wing and takes them on tour after seeing them once. Very impressive stuff indeed.

The only local show Oshe has scheduled for the next 3 months is this Saturday November 27th at Arties River Street Stage in Troy.

^ Top of Page ^

By Michael Witthaus
Lebanon's Claremont Eagle Times
Review 8-26-04

7 Barrel Brewery
August 21, 2004

As Oshe set up their gear for Saturday night's set at Seven Barrel, it looked more like a storage unit than a stage. Adam Ochshorn's 20-or-so piece drum set was positioned sideways, inches from Jake Savage's L-shaped stack of keyboards. Bassist Ken Love and guitarist Will Senisi had a little more room behind them, but not much. Looks, however, are deceiving. Though the performance space is cramped, the Upper Valley's premier microbrewery has been booking some of the best original talent anywhere. Oshe (pronounced "Ah-Shay") has a growing following for their fresh, frenetic groove jazz sound. Hailing from Albany, New York, the combo plays bigger venues, but loves the energy of the Upper Valley. "We'd rather play for these people in a small room like this than a small crowd in a big room," Love said between sets of the whooping, appreciative fans.

Oshe's music harks back to the days when Miles Davis's "Bitches Brew" changed the face of jazz forever, giving birth to the "jazz fusion" movement. Back in the early Seventies, Jeff Beck hung up his rock and roll shoes, releasing "Blow By Blow", keyboardist David Sancious left the E Street Band, and Frank Zappa began a long journey into experimental improvisation that introduced players like George Duke and Jean-Luc Ponty to wider audiences.

These pioneers are their spiritual teachers, even though none of Oshe's members were even born before 1980. Their instincts for harnessing diasporic elements into extended musical typhoons would be impressive for seasoned professionals. The band has been playing together for a little over two years, and only the last seven months as a quartet. Taken in that light, the authority of their time signatures and tempo changes is nothing short of astonishing. They have the confidence of youth.

During "Dragon", in bracing funk time with an edgy backbeat, Adam Ochshorn brought out a gong and played it with impish bravado. Ochshorn is the thoroughbred of the group. Because his drum kit is positioned so close to the audience, his sound dominates, reminiscent other drum-led ensembles. During "World Anthem", he played with the speed of a panther, his eyes half-shut and a dreamy, beatific smile - he seemed entranced. Ochshorn's wild energy only appears free-form, however. His rapid-fire playing anchors the ensemble. Though he could show off if he wanted to, he doesn't engage in tiresome soloing excesses. The resulting cohesiveness explains a lot about how Oshe succeeds in non-traditional venues like Seven Barrel.

In fact, the band abandoned improvisational writing a while back. Keyboard player Savage said in a phone interview that in the past, they "practiced for hours and recorded everything, mining through the material for the stuff we wanted to use." Nowadays, Savage, Ochshorn or Senisi write out basic pieces and bring them to the group. "Usually composers are very open to the other guy's ideas, but in general songwriting isn't done together," so the songs evolve and throughout "we talk a lot so we're always on the same page."

Their touring schedule has forced more discipline on them. With over 150 shows a year, Savage says, "we don't get to practice that much, so there's much less time for experimentation." This work ethic takes it cues from jam bands like Phish, Widespread Panic and fellow jazz disciples and Oshe heroes Medeski, Martin and Wood. "Hit the road and tour as much as possible," he says. The formula doesn't always work. There have been a few bars whose patrons were more inclined to Foreigner cover songs than synthesizer space loops and staccato guitar leads, but they take it in stride. More often than not, they get a good reaction. "Everybody responds to energy. Maybe it's naive or optimistic to think that people want to hear original music ," he says, but Oshe will continue to look for places where they do. When that happens, they're inevitably offered a return engagement - they'll be back in Lebanon in early October.

In an attempt to translate the alchemy of their live music, the band is set to record 11 consecutive shows beginning next month, and use the best material for their next album. The record will be their first as a quartet, though there are already several live tracks on their web site, www.oshe.org, available for free download. Most were recorded with the current unit. Offering their music for free seems counterintuitive; independent bands need every penny of revenue. Savage says "it's something we've thought about a lot, but getting as much music out there as possible is the best approach. In our situation, the revenue from CDs is minute, and in some ways we're flattered that people download songs and rip discs for their friends. Anyway, they might come out and see us - the tracks on our website give a good idea of what they'll see at a show.

^ Top of Page ^

By Joseph Prusch
Ithaca's Muse Magazine
Review June 2004

Among the hottest new Musefest bands is Schenectady, NY's very own Oshe. Their specially toned funk sound draws on a variety of influences: swing-jazz, urban music, techno, rock 'n roll and electronica, just to name a few.

They hit up the audience with fresh new grooves and wildly funky licks that sound like they were brewed up right here in the cafes and bars of Ithaca. In fact, they have been playing in the Ithaca area even more than most Ithaca-area bands. Certainly their sound draws on similar influences as local bands.

Bassist Ken Love sits at the core of the band while drummer Adam Ochshorn lays down smooth or choppy textures over the top of him. Ochshorn's style turns him into a band soloist more than the typical drummer. This gives the entire group a very welcome spontaneous feel. Keyboard player Jake Savage, when not laying down his bizarre harmonies, is rocking out even crazier solo licks. His Fender Rhodes and his synthesizer purr like a hundred lions or screech like a tiny seagull, obeying his every touch. And guitarist Will Senisi, a veritable virtuoso, drops down with the most solid soloing ever seen. He never -- and I literally mean never -- misses a note while every note he plays is just what is needed, never too much, and never too little.

Oshe started out as a trio, basing out of the Rochester area. They then moved "back home" to Schenectady, where they picked up Senisi, who had just graduated from high school. Their funk, while barely reminiscent of P-Funk and similar acts, still comes from a funkier place than the funk of so many other "funk" bands. It's not just groovin' and wankin, these guys are seriously in it for the funk.

^ Top of Page ^

By Todd Russell & Erik Charles
Binghamton's Overground Magazine
Review June 2004

Instrumental improv-influenced jazz rock fusion that really, really smokes. Recorded as a trio (Fender Rhodes/keys, bass, drums/percussion), the band has since added a guitarist to the mix, leading me to believe that they must be even more nuts now. Any Medeski Martin and Wood fan will find Oshe to be sick on a jaw-dropping level. While they may be a touch too cerebral and off-the-beaten-path for some meat-and-potatoes music consumers, I think they are tremendous. If you are into progressive rock with a jazz lean, this CD will make your week.

^ Top of Page ^

By Michael Hochanadel
Albany's Gazzette Newspaper
Review March 2004

At its best, the Keyboards/Guitar/Bass/Drums quartet Oshe sounds like young players earnestly and skillfully echoing the fusion jazz giants... Echoes of Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock and the Tony Williams Lifetime abound.

^ Top of Page ^

By Chris Clark
Buffalo's Spectrum Magazine
Review January 14, 2004

Maintaining a unique sound while keeping roots as a guide is a daunting task in today's music world. Everyday countless bands emerge, searching for new pathways of musical definition and sound.

While the vast majority of new bands find it difficult to achieve originality in their formative years, Rochester's Oshe has found a comfortable place they can call home. Oshe will be bringing their unique and highly original blend of rock, funk, fusion and jazz to McGarret's at 11 p.m. Thursday.

Since their conception in the summer of 2000, Oshe has encountered many of the habitual growing pains a younger band typically feels: tough financial situations, band members still being in school and the strain of building a local fan base.

While initially coming together as a quartet of young men looking for a way to have their musical voices heard, they quickly shifted gears towards turning this dream into a reality.

"We sat down and decided that if the group was to continue, it would have to become more serious," said Oshe keyboardist, Jake Savage. Using momentum from the handful of shows they played that summer, the band simplified the quartet into a trio. The three remaining members - Ken Love on bass, Adam Ochshorn on drums and Savage on keys - would then set out to finish their schooling while playing gigs wherever possible.

"Though two of us went back to school that fall, we agreed that the following summer the goal was to play music, and not to have jobs," he said. "In order to financially support ourselves doing this, it meant that we had to try to book a lot of shows."

On trekked the members of Oshe, continuing their academic pursuits while performing gigs whenever possible. In the summer of 2002, they would travel to neighboring Vermont and Pennsylvania for their first out-of-state gigs in their short, two-year career. By then, he said, "it became apparent to us that we did indeed want to do this for a living."

"So the following fall, Adam and I moved to Rochester where Ken was finishing up his degree at RIT," he continues.

Now, the foundations were properly laid, and Oshe's distinctive brand of improvisational-heavy groove exploration began to take hold. Fusing varying elements from 1970's era electric Miles Davis to new-school jazz-funk pioneers, Medeski Martin & Wood, the band's sound became a refreshing look at what was to come in both the local, and regional live music arenas.

Over the next year, Oshe played packed clubs throughout the northeast. From the famed Lion's Den in New York City to the Tralfmadore Café here in Buffalo, they proved to be a blossoming band with the talent required to craft something out of their dream. By the time December came around, Oshe was a headlining band, and the prospects are only becoming greater.

"This past December, we were thrilled to permanently add a fantastic guitar player to the lineup. His name is Will Senisi," he said.

With the timely addition of Senisi on guitar, their sound became more diverse. Now incorporating more rock n' roll fundamentals to compliment their groove heavy sound, there was no looking back.

"As a trio we were described by a lot of people as 'heavy groove music' or 'ambient groove fusion.' Adding the guitar, especially the way Will plays, adds more of a modal rock element to the mix," he said. Whereas the trio often limited the possibilities in both their written song compositions as well as the live improvisation, the newly formed quartet was now capable of expanding and thus, delving into more areas with greater ease.

^ Top of Page ^

By Frank De Blase
Rochester's City Magazine
Review November 2003

To me, a lot of these current groove ensembles sound like they've been awake too long. Improvisational Downstate groove darling Oshe sounds like it is still dreaming. The band's easy, laid-back groove is based on liberal variations of relatively complex, mesmerizing themes and hooks. More air, soul, and daylight breathe through their music than you'd expect...

^ Top of Page ^

by Colin Clary
Burlington's Seven Days Magazine
Review September 2003

Jake Savage, on Fender Rhodes and keyboards, lays down delicious chords and melodies with sounds that call to mind some of the sparser moments of Herbie Hancocks's work with Miles Davis in the early '70s. Adam Ochshorn on the drums and Ken B. Love on the bass lock down some pretty tight grooves, too, building an ever-mutating playground of rhythm and sound... As an album, Going Dark is mellow, chill-out, groove instrumental music. It's high-quality...