OA2 Records Reviews

Michael Webster - Momentus
by John Barron, The Jazz Word

Michael Webster succeeds at creating vivid imagery through the development of candid themes and unambiguous grooves. There's much more to this New York-based tenor saxophonist than the predictable collage of instrumentalist who also writes tunes. Composition seems to be the impetus for Webster's musical output.

Momentus, his second release as a leader, is an alluring collection of accessibility, band cohesiveness, the occasional... read more

Doug Hamilton - Jazz Band
by John Henry, Audiophile Audition

Most exciting big band disc I've heard this year! I'm not even sure at what point a fairly good-sized ensemble - in this case ten players - officially becomes a big band. But the bottom line here is that Hamilton follows the contrapuntal writing style of arranger Bill Holman, just about the best in the business in my estimation. And thru careful vice leading and harmonies, plus shifting around some of the ten players? part, Hamilton often... read more

Gordon Lee - This Path
by Kyle O'Brien, Jazz Society of Oregon

Pianist/arranger/composer Lee is always good for a listen. His distinct style is engaging, with thick, layered chords and a robust feel. On this disc, he acknowledges his many travels and influences, and the result is a global jazz sound that remains cohesive, thanks to Lee's arrangements. It begins with "Pao Ma Shan," a modal Chinese folk song that Lee transforms into a pensive jazz tune. It's played by the first of two trios on this album,... read more

Michael Kocour - Wherever You Go, There You Are
by George Fendel, Jazz Society of Oregon

You probably haven't agonized over this, but solo piano recordings nowadays are nearly as rare as the Mariners in the playoffs. So not only was I surprised to see such an item, I took a look at the tune list and said, "Wow." Michael Kocour is not a rookie in the jazz biz. He's originally from Chicago, where he spent years working with no less a bop icon than James Moody. For the last ten years he's been director of jazz studies at Arizona State... read more

Glenn White - Sacred Machines
by Jan P. Dennis, Audiophile Audition

Very attractive modern jazz in the vein of Dave Binney and the Jazz Composers Collective

It's not surprising that Glenn White operates in the same distinct jazz world as Dave Binney. After all, Binney produced this excellent debut?if you don?t count the self-produced 1999 disc, Downside. Like Binney, White is as accomplished a composer and band leader as saxophonist. Like Binney, White has a similar approach to composition: strong,... read more

Gail Pettis - Here in the Moment
by Melissa Goldberg, O, The Oprah Magazine

Gail Pettis can't explain the difference between Lydian and Dorian scales, but that doesn't concern the 58-year-old jazz singer one bit. Because when Pettis saunters up to a microphone and unleashes her rich alto on a Nat King Cole classic, technicalities are the last thing on her mind. "Jazz is about expressing what's inside you in a real way,"she says. "When I sing, I feel like I'm doing what I was born to do. It's how I imagine flying... read more

Svetlana and the Delancey Five - Night At The Speakeasy
by Michael Doherty, Michael's Music Log

Svetlana And The Delancey Five are an excellent jazz band based in New York City, playing regularly at a venue called The Back Room. That venue is located just off of Delancey Street, thus the band's name. The band's new CD, Night At The Speakeasy, also gets its name from this venue, as The Back Room has been operating since the days of Prohibition. And the music here has that sense of fun and excitement, and also that sense of community and... read more

Gordon Lee - This Path
by Ken Dryden, All Music Guide

Gordon Lee comes from a varied musical background, having played a number of different styles as a sideman before turning his focus to being a leader himself. This Path utilizes two separate rhythm sections (either Dave Captein or Kevin Deitz on bass, plus Carlton Jackson or Ron Steen on drums), both of which work hand in hand with the pianist. The opener, "Pao Ma Shan," is a dramatic interpretation of a Chinese folk song in a post-bop... read more

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