OA2 Records Reviews

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

Jay Lawrence - Thermal Strut
by Scott Yanow, All Music Guide

Although drummer Jay Lawrence is the leader of this trio date and bassist Lynn Seaton is excellent in support, Thermal Strut is a success primarily due to the playing of pianist Tamir Hendelman. A major pianist based in Los Angeles who works with the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, Hendelman is brilliant throughout the modern mainstream set, whether romping on "Topsy" and "Opus De Funk," or sounding impressionistic on "Almost Summer" and... read more

Colorado Jazz Repertory Orchestra - Invitation
by Robert Rusch, Cadence

Invitation is a recording made over two days [August 16th&17th, 2016]. Colorado (the Denver area in particular) is loaded with world class jazz artists, and that's been building for the past 40 years. It feels like we've reached the point where artists no longer feel they have to flee to the coasts to have their work legitimized by the media and recording powers. Lucky for us labels such as; Capri [Colorado], Origin/OA2 [Wash.], Mack Ave.... read more

Unhinged Sextet - Clarity
by Ric Bang, Jazz Scan

In the beginning, jazz was a "blue-collar" profession. Most artists hadn't earned more than a high school education; some went on the road without even that degree, although many continued studies after completing their early careers. That isn't the case today; artist biographies often contain references to colleges and universities that offer advanced degrees up to the doctoral level.

Consider the Unhinged Sextet: Every member has one or... read more

Gail Pettis - Here in the Moment
by Carol Banks Weber, Examiner.com

"Nature Boy's" been done to death in jazz clubs by everyone from Kurt Elling, Bobby Darin, and James Brown, to Celine Dion, Natalie Cole and of course, most famously by Nat King Cole in 1948. The 1947 Eden Ahbez tune - similar to Antonin Dvorak's 1887 Piano Quintet No. 2 in A, Op. 81 - is a curious, all-too-short, mysterious and possibly scandalous tome about a strange, enchanted boy who seemed to have grown up in isolation, far from society,... read more

The Vocal Jazz Collective - Redefinition
by Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz

Jeff Baker, one of the best male jazz vocalists around today, is also the vocal director at ArtsWest School for Performing Arts in Eagle, Idaho. Working with high school age performers must be a gas, because Baker has produced a very engaging vocal jazz outing, featuring his students backed by an Origin Records all-star band, with pianist Justin Nielsen sitting in the piano/arranger's chair.
Redefinition takes a batch of familiar jazz tunes by... read more

Svetlana and the Delancey Five - Night At The Speakeasy
by Jerome Wilson, Cadence

Svetlana Shmulyian is a singer with the kind of sweet, lilting voice ideal for the sort of sunny Thirties-style jazz she performs and the Delancey Five combo is also very adept at this style. The songs they play are a combination of period pieces and modern works, including several written by Shmulyian which mix in more advanced elements of strutting jazz like the boisterous horns on "Dance Inbetween The Moments". Then there are treatments of... read more

Paul Tynan & Aaron Lington - Bicoastal Collective: Chapter Five
by J. Poet, Downbeat

When the Bicoastal Collective launches into a tune, audience members soon get the sense that they're being pulled into a distinctive sonic space. The ensemble features five saxophones, four trumpets and four trombones, in addition to a rhythm section of guitar, bass, drums and piano. At this year's San Jose Jazz Summer Fest, the band played some of the music from their new album, Bicoastal Collective: Chapter Five (OA2 Records), and got... read more

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