OA2 Records Reviews

Florian Hoefner - Songs Without Words
by Staff, BR-Klassik, Bavarian Radio (Germany)

When a young European jazz musician gains ground in the USA it is for a reason. And in this case you will immediately hear the reason.

Pianist, Florian Hoefner, born 1982 in Nuremberg (also known as a member of the very successful German group Subtone) who has been living in New York City since 2008 does not only play the piano in a clear, concise and atmospherically dense way but also writes amazingly beautiful compositions. Both is... read more

George Cotsirilos - Mostly in Blue
by Hobart Taylor, KUCI - Irvine, CA

Electric guitarist Cotsirilos has an unique and identifiable sound. Some notes are precisely plucked and the decay is consistently even. Others slowly fade or rise and fall like balanced sine waves. While there is a great tribute to Wes Montgomery on this release, and Montgomery was known for his crispness and tonal control, Cotsirilos is doing his own thing, and what a fine thing it is. His tunes are sound timeless, in the pocket, casual and... read more

Afro Bop Alliance - Revelation
by Jon Neudorf, Sea of Tranquility

Revelation is the sixth album for Afro Bop Alliance Big band. Three of those records were major big band affairs including their latest. This massive band is led by Joe McCarthy who provides drums and percussion. There are no less than seven trumpeters, seven trombonists, seven sax players and four steel pan virtuosos.

This is a difficult album to fault as the music is energetic, vibrant and most importantly quite memorable. The players are... read more

Tom Dempsey / Tim Ferguson - Waltz New
by Chris Spector, Midwest Record

There's a couple of interesting things going on here all at once. First up, this set is a tribute to Jim Hall and his influence on modern jazz. Second up, it sounds like a smooth jazz date in an acoustic setting where it hasn't been declawed of it's swing and drive. Is it a winner? Only throughout. A nice little text book on how it's done right with no dust on it, this is a solid, straight ahead set that pulls no punches and delivers... read more

Debbie Poryes - Catch Your Breath
by Don Lerman, Cadence, Oct-Dec 2010

One of the pleasant surprises of Catch Your Breath is the presence of bassist Douglass, who recorded with Art Tatum fifty-five years ago, still playing nobly. Poryes is an inventive pianist, taking familiar standards by established composers and setting them slightly askew to re-examine them. I would recommend her trio version of "I Should Care" as a starting place, where she shows a respectful consideration for melody and harmony after... read more

New Standard Jazz Orchestra - Waltz About Nothing
by Robert D. Rusch, Cadence

This 17­piece big band offers tight modern arrangements over 11 tracks [71:32]; with 6 originals from band members and 5 from outside the band like "Milestones," "Close To You" and "Star Crossed Lovers". While I don't find any identifiable footprint to the band sound (perhaps a slight touch of Kenton) what I do find, besides its tightness, is a fine use of soloists. After many listenings it was the trombone solos by Baker that continued to... read more

Danny Green Trio Plus Strings - One Day It Will
by Robert Bush, New York City Jazz Record

Southern California piano virtuoso Danny Green has really come into his own lately, shedding some obvious debt to Chick Corea and, most importantly, learning how to infuse a sense of space into his music. This new
maturity culminates with the release of his latest disc, a marriage between his remarkably simpatico trio of bassist Justin Grinnell and drummer Julien Cantelm and a string quartet of Kate Hatmaker and Igor Pandurski (violin), Travis... read more

Fred Forney - Chasing Horizons
by John Barron, All About Jazz

Phoenix, Arizona-based trumpeter/composer Fred Forney has performed with a host of jazz heavies, including Bob Mintzer, Don Menza, and Roger Kellaway, and has toured internationally with the Bobby Caldwell Big Band. Chasing Horizons is Forney's second release as a leader and debut for OA2 records. The disc is a high energy progressive jazz session featuring tenor saxophonist Brice Winston and pianist Chuck Marohnic.
Forney displays a... read more

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