Gig Alert: Greg Osby Five

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Greg Osby Five
Playing Wednesday at the Village Vanguard
(178 7th Ave., West Village)
Get: Tickets ($25) | Directions

Whether you are listening to his albums or reading his ambling interviews, it’s instantly clear that saxophonist and label owner Greg Osby is a deep thinker.

The St. Louis native came up in the 1980’s as a sideman to Herbie Hancock and Dizzie Gillespie, and his pensive, down-tempo compositions sound like the untangling of musical knots. His saxophone travels through adventurous harmonic territories with a sense of careful precision, as if he’s using the language of jazz to work out some kind of beautiful mathematical proof. This song, “Tolerance” comes off his 2008 release 9 Levels from his own Inner Circle Records label.

Osby plays the Vanguard all week with a quintet that includes Melissa Aldana, Marc Copland, Steve LaSpina, and Kendrick Scott.