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

Cynthia Mullis - Inside Job
by Adam Greenburg, All Music Guide

An album of straightforward jazz from Cynthia Mullis, one of only a handful of capable female jazz instrumentalists on the scene (many opt to be jazz vocalists instead). Here, the Seattle jazzer grooves her way through ten songs; roughly half standards and half original compositions, both from her and from bassist Doug Miller. She switches between emulating John Coltrane in her solos and emulating the bop sax lines when working through a chorus... read more

Carrie Wicks - Maybe
by George W. Harris, Jazz Weekly

One of the most denigrated categories is "jazz female vocalists." Most either try to sound like a quirky indie like Norah Jones, or try to jump on the Diana Krall bandwagon by ONCE AGAIN revisiting the Great American Songbook. Well, if you want something else, here is an artist that has the pulse of jazz, but delivered in fresh voice. What a joy!

Carrie Wicks is in a quartet setting with Bill Anschell/p, Jeff Johnson/b and Byron Vannoy/dr... read more

Nelda Swiggett - Blue-Eyed Painted Lady
by C. Michael Bailey, All About Jazz

Pianist Nelda Swiggett follows her confident and successful This Time (OA2 Records, 2010) with an expansion of her original piano trio into a piano-string quintet, minus the violin plus a drummer. This expanded format suits Swiggett's orchestral compositional leanings well and provides an intriguing and successful combining of nightclub jazz and concert stage classical. This is no more "Third Stream" than it is pure classical or jazz.... read more

Barney McClure - Show Me!
by Rotcod Zzaj, Improvijazzation Nation

Long-time readers of this 'zine will know that nothing gets me more excited than great organ playing, & Barney's Hammond B3 is certainly among the best I've heard in the last decade, especially when paired with the Central Washington University Big Band... it's not a combination I hear often (most organ-related submissions here are quartets or quintets), but as you listen to the stellar (& smokin') energy on "Hookin' It", you'll hear right... read more

Afro Bop Alliance - Revelation
by Dave Rogers, WTJU - Richmond

The Afro Bop Alliance is based in DC and has been won a Grammy and the respect of jazz critics and fans alike. Led by drummer / percussionist Joe McCarthy, the band includes Luis Hernandez (tenor saxophone), Tim Stanley (trumpet), Vince Norman (alto saxophone), Victor Provost (steel pan), Harry Appelman (piano), Tom Baldwin (bass) and Roberto Quintero (percussion) and many guests. They cover many styles, offering wonderful variety as well as... read more

Danny Green - Altered Narratives
by Mark Corroto, All About Jazz

The old adage, that you know you're a jazz musician when you realize that there are actually two 9 o'clocks in a day, has been replaced with the revelation that jazz is a musical omnivore. It can consume every style of music from classical to pop as sustenance for a performance. Pianist Danny Green's proves that argument with his trio recording Altered Narratives.

The pianist was classically trained before delving into rock, ska,... read more

New Standard Jazz Orchestra - Waltz About Nothing
by Chris Spector, Midwest Review

Chicago's once thriving commercial music scene gave local jazzbos the stability to do whatever they wanted at night and not worry about putting food on the table. There was some great jazz going around in those days. This Chicago aggregation shows the commercials might be gone but the passion for stellar big band jazz remains. Never sounding corny or dated, this crew's second spin keeps it as fresh and bursting with vibes as the debut. High... read more

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