Jeff Oster | Surrender

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New Age: Contemporary Instrumental Electronic: Lounge Moods: Mood: Sex Music
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by Jeff Oster

The lights are low. Candles...champagne...a warm fire. The air is filled with the silky, sultry sound of a trumpet, the pulse of a drum that matches your heartbeat, and a sweet, sexy voice. You are lost in the music...and it is the sound of...SURRENDER
Genre: New Age: Contemporary Instrumental
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. All That Matters
4:54 album only
2. Você Quer Dançar
4:23 album only
3. Nikki's Dream
5:07 album only
4. The Voice
4:43 album only
5. Essence of Herb
3:33 album only
6. Surrender (feat. Diane Arkenstone)
3:59 album only
7. 2 Di 4
5:09 album only
8. The Theology of Success
5:28 album only
9. Beautiful Silence
4:07 album only
10. 53 Mirrors
5:45 album only
11. Enlightened Darkness
3:54 album only


Album Notes
*** A CD Baby Top Album Pick in New Age/Contemporary Instrumental and Electronic/Lounge ***
SURRENDER is Jeff Oster's fourth studio album. His new music is decidedly chill and downtempo, perfect for moments when you want to relax, go deeper in love, enjoy a perfect massage or just breathe a little deeper. Sexy and smooth, this music will make you smile...

His previous albums, RELEASED and TRUE, were both voted as Album of the Year and Best Contemporary Instrumental Album by broadcasters worldwide that report to Zone Music Reporter (formerly New Age Songs from each of his albums won Independent Music Awards for Best New Age Song.

He is joined on SURRENDER by producer and engineering master Bryan Carrigan. Bryan co-produced SURRENDER with Jeff, and co-wrote eight of the songs on this album. Bryan has worked with such artists as Alanis Morissette, Frank Sinatra, Quincy Jones, Aerosmith and No Doubt, and has done extensive film and television post production on such films as The Devil Wears Prada, K-Pax, Tropic Thunder, Marley and Me, and many more.

He is releasing several albums of original electronic music this year, and his latest album PASSING LIGHTS is available here on CD Baby and on iTunes.
Also appearing on five of the songs on SURRENDER is singer and multi-instrumentalist Diane Arkenstone. Diane wrote her first song at the age of three and picked up her first guitar at the age of seven. Her album, "Jewel in the Sun," debuted at No. 16 on Billboard’s New Age charts when it was released in October 2002, peaking at number 11. In 2005, her album, The Best of Diane Arkenstone, went No. 1 on the New Age radio charts. In all, she’s worked on more than 45 albums, producing 28 under her own label, Neo Pacifica. Diane’s music embraces many styles, from Celtic, Trance, World and Native American, to techno, rock and folk.

Look for a new album from Diane early next year.


JEFF OSTER - Flugelhorn, Trumpet, Vocals, Synthesizers, Loop Programming
BRYAN CARRIGAN - Sound Design, Synthesizers, Drum Programming

Produced by Bryan Carrigan and Jeff Oster

Engineered and Mixed by Bryan Carrigan
at Precision Sonics - Los Angeles, CA

Mastered by Steve Hall
at Future Disc Mastering - McMinnville, OR

© (P) 2011 Retso Records

All rights reserved

Here's a review of SURRENDER from John Diliberto, the host of the NPR radio program ECHOES. Echoes is a daily two-hour music soundscape, distributed by Public Radio International and broadcast on 130 radio stations from Maine to California. With host John Diliberto, a writer for Billboard, Pulse and other magazines, Echoes brings together a wide array of styles, from acoustic to electronic, jazz to space music, the avant-garde to rock.

Here's the review:

Surrender to Jeff Oster’s September CD of the Month.
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


A new review of SURRENDER at The Borderland (by John Peters)

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.

- John Peters



to write a review


Jeff Oster’s exquisite horns encourage Surrender on new album
Jeff Oster’s fourth recording Surrender (released on Retso Records, August 16, 2011) is steeped in downtempo, instrumental grooves seasoned with his one-of-a-kind sensuous, trumpet and flugelhorn. In fact, Jeff utilizes his background as a classically-trained jazz artist combined with ambient electronica and synthesizer embellishments to create an aural atmosphere quite unlike any other musical experience of its kind. Illinois-born, San Francisco-based, and world-renowned, Jeff’s mastery of the trumpet and flugelhorn are showcased on Surrender in a contemporary and innovative setting that shies away from a typical orchestral or jazz ensemble sound.

Raj Manoharan (

The RajMan Review
I’m not a trumpet guy, but I like good music regardless of the instrument, and this album had my ears entranced from the first track to the last.

Like me, most people might be put off by a trumpet album because the instrument is usually associated with the very exclusive, traditional jazz playing of Dizzy Gillespie and Wynton Marsalis.

However, Jeff Oster is more in tune with the cool fusion of trumpet icons Miles Davis and Herb Alpert, the latter of whom is paid tribute to on the standout track, “Essence of Herb.”

Oster lays his trumpet, flugelhorn, and synthesizer tones over hip-hop and techno backbeats programmed by co-composer and sound designer Bryan Carrigan. The result is an intoxicating blend of jazz, new age, and urban styles.

The album also features subliminal vocals by Oster that give the music a shadowy edge, with some brightness provided in the form of more prominent vocals from Diane Arkenstone.

What makes Oster’s playing, and ultimately his music, accessible is that rather than blow off as many notes as possible per second, as is the case with standard jazz trumpet playing, he coaxes and conjures, much like a snake charmer. Oster uses his horns in service of the melodies and themes rather than showboating, giving the music more depth and scale.

With trippy numbers like “All That Matters,” “Você Quer Dançar,” “Nikki’s Dream,” “Essence of Herb,” and “Beautiful Silence,” Surrender is as near-perfect as an album can get.

My only major complaint – at just over three minutes, “Essence of Herb” is too short!

Serge Kozlovsky

Writings by Serge Kozlovsky /
When you get tired of struggling with the whole world,
Without fear, surrender only love

When you sit alone at the late night what thoughts come to your mind? What desires do you feel and what emotions touch your heart? You don’t have to pretend for somebody. You just sense your real essence and you are able to look into depths of your inner world.

Never before has the trumpet of Jeff Oster sounded so intimate. Delicate keyboards environment of Bryan Carrigan and the sensual vocals of Diane Arkenstone create a very personal atmosphere for his newest project. The music of “Surrender” is suitable for meditating in solitude as well as for intimate moments with your loved ones.

Jeff Oster returns this time with a brilliant work. His talent is illuminated with fresh colors on “Surrender”. The artist brought the sound of trumpet into new age music and showed amazing abilities of this classical instrument which seems so usual. And Jeff Oster bravely develops his unique style. It becomes more complete and modern.

It cannot be the music for just any moment but it may be the music for various situations and states of mind. And this is the album “Surrender” of Jeff Oster.

Serge Kozlovsky

Michael Diamond

Review excerpt from Music & Media Focus (
Jeff Oster’s name is one I’ve been hearing quite a bit recently – often as a session musician on a number of new releases produced by Windham Hill Records founder William Ackerman. However, I was also familiar Jeff’s own new release, “Surrender” which was chosen by the nationally syndicated Echoes radio program as the “CD of the Month” for September 2011. What distinguishes him from nearly every other musician in this genre are his instruments of choice - trumpet and flugelhorn. Jeff is charting new sonic territory in his expansion of these instruments into a context of electronica, downtempo beats, and loop based electro-orchestral bed tracks. Although the description of his music as “Miles meets Enya” is a good starting point, it soon transcends those references as various elements combine in audio alchemy.

He is joined by producer and engineering master Bryan Carrigan, who adds additional synthesizers, drum programming, and sound design, as well as having co-produced and co-written eight of the songs on this album. Also adding her own inimitable talents to a number of the compositions is vocalist Diane Arkenstone, who is an artist of note in her own right.

Trying to pick favorites on this CD is an exercise in futility, as literally every track is a winner. While there is indeed a dreamy, almost surreal quality to the music, it is infused with a cool urban vibe that makes it intriguing, entrancing, and irresistible.