OA2 Records Reviews

Daria - Strawberry Fields Forever
by Michael Doherty, Michael's Music Log

Strawberry Fields Forever, is her tribute to The Beatles. There are a lot of Beatles tribute albums out there, as you know, in basically every musical genre you can think of. What Daria does on this album is focus mostly on the band's later years, with songs from Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band ("When I'm Sixty-Four," "Fixing A Hole"), Abbey Road ("Come Together") and The White Album ("Blackbird," "Julia," "Helter Skelter"). Apparently... read more

New Standard Jazz Orchestra - Waltz About Nothing
by Jack Bowers, All About Jazz

Any orchestra that professes to establish a new standard had better be able to back that up. Happily for the listener, on its debut recording, Waltz About Nothing, Chicago's New Standard Jazz Orchestra can—and does. In a little more than two years, the NSJO has arisen as a worthy successor to one of the more exemplary ensembles ever to grace the Windy City, trumpeter Rob Parton's JazzTech Big Band. The equivalence seems predestined when one... read more

Liam Sillery - Phenomenology
by George Fendel, Oregon Jazz Scene

Two previous releases on OA2 Records found Sillery in a quintet setting with the superb LA tenor man, David Sills. This time out, Sillery opts for alto saxist Matt Blostein, who works well with Sillery on some probing, often energetic music. Sillery's pianist, Jesse Stacken, and bassist Thomas Morgan, are once again on hand as they were on the previous "Minor Changes." The five tunes played here, all original compositions, are hardly a lesson in... read more

Vince Norman / Joe McCarthy Big Band - Words Cannot Express
by Jack Bowers, Cadence, Oct-Dec 2007

The Vince Norman / Joe McCarthy Big Band bears more than a passing resemblance in a number of ways to the Taylor / Fidyk Big Band. First, it is also from the DC area; second, it is co-led by a splendid drummer (McCarthy) and resourceful arranger (Norman); and third, its sidemen were recruited by and large from the area's armed services bands(I counted four each from the Airmen of Note and Army Jazz Ambassadors, three from the Navy Commodores).... read more

The Here & Now - Break of Day
by Brian S. Lunde, Jazz Review

The Here & Now quintet's debut record, Break of Day, is a fine introduction to some young jazz musicians who began to build their sound during their high school years together in Seattle. But being serious musicians, they didn't settle for the jazz equivalent of a high school garage band; they first went their separate ways to pursue collegiate jazz education at some of the finest music schools in the country including The New School, Julliard,... read more

Rich Pellegrin - Three-Part Odyssey
by Adam Greenberg, All Music Guide

Aiming specifically for a complex, dense sound on his debut album, pianist Rich Pellegrin sets out on Three-Part Odyssey to fill whole sonic landscapes, combining horns with one another for larger sounds and incorporating basslines into thicker underlying grooves. The first "part" comes across heavily, focusing on the lower end of the piano, deep bass solos, and post-bop horn arrangements courtesy of R. Scott Morning and Neil Welch. The... read more

George Cotsirilos - On The Rebop
by Doug Collar, WKAR-FM

Recently while digging into a Danish and having a coffee at a Panera, I caught a hard grooving Wes Montgomery tune over the sound system. That is the same vibe I get from George Cotsirilos. "On the Rebop" is straight ahead and the real thing. When somebody asks me whatever happened to Herb Ellis and Barney Kessel, I'll be telling them to pick up on George's sounds. His recordings are always welcome on "Jazz Till... read more

George Mitchell - Play Zone
by Adam Greenburg, All Music Guide

Play Zone is the sophomore effort from George Mitchell, 20-year veteran of Diana Ross' band. Here, he's more at home, playing more straightforward jazz piano (with some exceptions) and making use of a fine ensemble of Portland jazzmen. The basis of the album is jazz piano, but, that said, the group wanders often into territory of the blues and motifs from Brazil and Europe. The group dynamic works well here, with a good deal of group... read more

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