OA2 Records Reviews



Gordon Lee and the Gleeful Big Band - Flying Dream
by Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz

With big bands, it's all about the arrangements. Those charts have to have that spark, as well as a depth and complexity. Then the solo slots -- those punctuating flights of improvisation -- have to soar, of course. They do here; they almost always do at this top level of musicianship; but it's the textures, the layerings, the eyebrow-raising counterpoints that make the set.

Gordon Lee and the Gleeful Big Band's Flying Dream bubbles over the... read more

Ben Paterson - Breathing Space
by Ron Bierman, Jazz Review

This is a solid, straight-ahead piano trio in a well-chosen program. They play two originals and seven fine, but far from overworked standards. The arrangements are fresh sounding. The playing ranges from gently appealing on the old pop standard "I wish I Knew" to hard driving on Gigi Gryce's "Hymn of the Orient." These Chicago-based musicians are young, yet already in demand as sidemen for club dates and recording sessions. Ben Paterson is... read more

Wil Swindler - Universe B
by David Kane, Cadence

Wil Swindler has produced a new CD, [Universe B], filled with sophisticated and beautiful small-big band music. I was knocked out by both the playing and, in particular, the writing. Although the music remains tonal throughout, the harmonic language is intriguingly complex while remaining utterly accessible. Swindler's writing evokes Gil Evans, with its use of unconventional instruments such as the French horn and euphonium as well as... read more

Rich Pellegrin - Episodes IV-VI
by George W. Harris, Jazz Weekly

Pianist Rich Pellegrin leads a flexible band of R. Scott Morning/tp, Neil Welch/ts, Evan Flory-Barnes/b and Chris Icasiano/dr through the second volume of a "Three Part Odyssey" trilogy. Two of the tree "Episodes" have two parts, which means they have similar themes produced by the rhythm team, but the horns take them into different directions. "Intention" and "Affirmation" of the first Episode has an attractive groove that features the horns... read more

Jimmy Bennington - Midnight Choir
by David Dupont, One Final Note

Midnight Choir dates back to 1996 and 1998. It was released as a cd-R at some point before this 2003 OA2 Records edition. Recorded in Houston, Texas, it features Bennington with a small shifting cast of players. The core is a trio with bassist David Klingensmith and saxophonist Seth Paynter. Bennington takes a back seat to his colleagues.Paynter contributes three originals, and outbound, Coltrane inspired blowing. It's Bennington who keeps the... read more

Daniel Jamieson's Danjam Orchestra - Sudden Appearance
by John Garratt, PopMatters.com

Daniel Jamieson writes and arranges for a big band, but the style of his jazz writing has far too many twists and turns to be a strictly swinging affair. Even when compared to, say, Dave Holland, the compositions on Jamieson's debut with the Danjam Orchestra are so thick and complicated that it will be a challenge for some listeners to get to a tune's core. Strangely enough, a song called "Calming" bears these intriguing hallmarks. The soloists... read more

Stan Bock & The New Tradition - Feelin' It
by George Fendel, Jazz Society of Oregon

Anyone who has performed with Bock or witnessed such a performance knows that he is a dedicated player with a likeablility factor that loosens everyone up, making them play at the top of their game. There are few who obviously enjoy blowing bop changes with like-minded colleagues more than Bock. That's why this CD took me a bit by surprise. I noticed that Clay Giberson spent time at both the piano and the Rhodes. Bassist Tim Gilson also "went... read more

Phil Parisot - Lingo
by Ric Bang, Jazz Scan

Drummer/composer Phil Parisot heads this swinging quartet from the Pacific Northwest jazz scene. He's supported by Steve Treseler (tenor sax), Dan Kramlich (piano) and Michael Glynn (bass). They've known each other for almost 20 years, and the result is a tight, cohesive combo.

Parisot is unusual in a way; not many percussionists are accomplished composers, and very few play with such taste. His relatively light touch allows listeners to... read more

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