OA2 Records Reviews

Joan Hickey - Between The Lines
by Jerome Wilson, Cadence

Pianist Joan Hickey delivers a CD that is more Jazz-centered with emphasis on Blues accents and the free floating pulse established long ago by the ?60's Miles Davis Quintet. ?With A Song In My Heart? and ?The Man I Love? get strong, exuberant interpretations that feature saxophonist John Wojciechowski going wild, playing a hard, burrowing tenor on ?Song? and a strong melodious soprano on ?Man.? Hickey proves herself a grand, sweeping ballad... read more

Gordon Lee - This Path
by Kyle O'Brien, The Oregonian

Gordon Lee wasn't satisfied with just one trio for his latest recording, This Path. Instead, he enlisted two bass players and two drummers, each lending their signature sounds to this collection of worldly jazz.

Lee, a respected Portland pianist, arranger, composer and educator, has explored many musical styles in four-plus decades in jazz. He's played with some of the best in the business, locally and nationally, including Bobby... read more

Mason Razavi - Quartet Plus, Volume 2
by Rick Anderson, CD Hotlist

Guitarist and composer Mason Razavi has put together a very interesting program on his latest album. The first five tracks are straight-ahead quartet recordings (with the exception of the fusion-inflected "With the Wind at My Back"), while the second half of the album consists of pieces arranged for a nonet that sounds like a big band. I assume that the horn charts were arranged by Razavi as well as based on his melody lines, and they're... read more

Lynn Baker Quartet - Azure Intention
by Timothy Breckon, Examiner.com

Malcolm Lynn (Lynn) Baker has influenced many musicians you listen to in Denver but you probably do not even know it. The current head of the University of Denver's Lamont School of Music's Jazz Program and former director of admissions for Lamont as a whole is something of a modern day renaissance man. I performed under his direction for four years in Lamont's Jazz Orchestra and count myself the better for Lynn's tutelage (alternatively-count... read more

Jay Lawrence - Thermal Strut
by Tom Morgan, Percussive Notes

Anyone who loves jazz piano trio in the tradition of Oscar Peterson, Ahmad Jamal or the Jeff Hamilton Trio will enjoy this wonderful jazz CD from drummer Jay Lawrence, a veteran of Nevada showrooms who has worked with everyone from Sammy Davis Jr. to Roy Clark and whose jazz credits include Phil Woods, Clark Terry, Bob Mintzer and Hank Jones. The other members of the trio are pianist Tamir Hendelman and bassist Lynn Seaton.

From the first... read more

Joan Hickey - Between The Lines
by Forrest Dylan Bryant, Jazz Times

Leading with a gentle touch at the piano and a lighthearted sense of adventure, Hickey guides her Chicago-based quintet through hard-bop and modern jazz territory with aplomb. She also allows the music to take a few rhythmic detours, adopting a reggae beat or flirting briefly with free jazz. The first four tracks show off the group's strength and flexibility to best effect, with the original tune "Herbis" and a stunning "The Man I Love" as... read more

Danny Green - After the Calm
by Marc Myers, JazzWax

San Diego jazz pianist Green sails through 10 lyrical originals with polish and elegance. He's backed here by bassist Justin Grinnell and drummer Julien Cantelm. Fortunately for us, Green's priorities start with ensuring that his chord voicings and lines always sound seductive rather than manic. A highly impressive album that will knock you... read more

Debbie Poryes - Catch Your Breath
by Adam Greenberg, All Music Guide

Debbie Poryes likes to use a loping approach to the piano, as it quickly becomes clear on Catch Your Breath. On the album, her second release as a leader, she works her way through a set built upon both her own compositions and standards from the Great American Songbook. The album opens with the title track, a piece that simultaneously uses stepping motifs from post-bop piano and a classic sort of urban saxophone approach courtesy of Bruce... read more

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