OA2 Records Reviews



Josh Moshier & Mike Lebrun - Joy Not Jaded
by Kyle O'Brien, Jazz Society of Oregon

Northwestern grads, pianist Moshier and saxophonist Lebrun have kept the musical collaboration going past the classroom. Their tunes are sharp modern jazz pieces, giving each the opportunity to say what they want musically. Harmonically and rhythmically rich, as on Lebrun's polyrhythmic "Jambo," these are two musically mature players. They're not concerned with cramming too many notes in, instead concentrating on textures and melodies, as on... 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

AJ Kluth Quintet - Twice Now
by Adam Greenberg, All Music Guide

Hailing from the Chicago scene, saxophone player Aj Kluth and his band here take a turn through rounds of both composition and improvisation. The bulk of the pieces here (with the exception of a Chick Corea piece and a Thom Yorke number that's been converted to jazz) come from Kluth and/or his guitarist Nick Ascher. With a basic structure coming from the composed sets, the band then proceeds regularly to improvise heavily over the themes. The... 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

Shawn Maxwell - Music in My Mind
by Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz

After a series of well-received mainstream recordings, Chicago-based alto saxophonist Shawn Maxwell moved into a "taking more chances" mode with Shawn Maxwell's New Tomorrow (OA2 Records, 2016). Much of the sound there fell into the exploratory, even avant-garde area. He delves further into that territory with Music In My Mind.

With albums titled Originals (Self Produced, 2006) and Originals II (Self Produced, 2008) opening up his recorded... read more

Steve Owen - Stand Up Eight
by Dave Sumner, Bird is the Worm

A hell of an impression for his debut album. On Stand Up Eight, conductor and arranger Steve Owen brings together an 18-piece ensemble for an astounding display of orchestral jazz. Moments that absolutely soar and others that jitter invitingly closer to earth. The kind of beauty and power that can uplift a listener's heart at the same time it's punching a hole through it. Just one strong moment after the next. And this is a big band... read more

Greg Duncan Quintet - Unveiled
by Adam Greenberg, All Music Guide

Bandleader Greg Duncan spent some time touring with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, and in ways it shows here on his debut recording. While he's working in a quintet for Unveiled, and on modern compositions, there's a definite classic big-band sound. The players here -- Duncan on trumpet, Dan Nicholson on sax, and Marcin Fahmy, Jon Deitemeyer, and Jeff Greene as the rhythm section -- all play their parts in a cohesive manner, never straying too far... read more

Carrie Wicks - I'll Get Around to It
by George Fendel, Jazz Society of Oregon

A new voice out of Seattle, Carrie Wicks' debut CD scores from several standpoints. Wicks doesn't go for the gusto, and that's a good thing in a jazz singer. In addition, she's chosen quality tunes that include "Everything I've Got," "Ill Wind," "Comes Love," ?"I'm Lost" and "I'm Old Fashioned," among others. She works effortlessly with Seattle vets Bill Anschell, piano, Jeff Johnson, bass, Bryon Vannoy, drums, and the Joe Henderson-ish Hans... read more

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