OA2 Records Reviews

Florian Hoefner - Falling Up
by Chris Spector, Midwest Record

A right on set of modern piano jazz is on tap here by this German born cat and his New York pals. Playing with the kind of effortlessness that makes everyone think that he can do it just as easily and just as well, itís the sign of a real master when he leaves them in his dust and doesnít make a big deal out of it. You can bet Hoefner would leave a big cloud and a lot of silence in his wake. Tasty, dazzling stuff that hits all the right... read more

Rich Pellegrin - Three-Part Odyssey
by Dan Cohen, The Muse's Muse

Rich Pellegrin, with his Three-Part Odyssey, has created a rich, multi-layered and textured work for his first opus on OA2 records out of Seattle, Washington. Texture is used rather glibly in music reviewing circles, but seems deserved on this album. It almost seems an experiment solely in texture-- sacrificing melody, harmony, structure, development, all at the altar of texture and timbre. Or rather, using changing and shifting textures,... read more

Shawn Maxwell - Shawn Maxwell's New Tomorrow
by Chris Spector, Midwest Record

What's a sax man to do when he wants to do something new and different without seeming precious? Rather than find some new country to exploit for world beat purposes, how about an era mash up? There are passages here when you can hear Louis' Nawlins, mixing with 50s daddio, mixing with Miles pushing his sax man du jour farther in to outer space mixed with a bunch of funk while tipping your toes in the waters of St. Thomas----all at the same... read more

George Cotsirilos - On The Rebop
by Ric Bang, The Davis Enterprise

George Cotsirilos is relatively unknown outside the San Francisco jazz community. He plays guitar beautifully, with great phrasing and a genuine jazz feel.

"On the Rebop" features Cotsirilos' trio, which includes Robb Fisher (acoustic bass) and Ron Marabuto (drums). These two musicians also work primarily around the Bay Area, and actually are better known that Cotsirilos.

Fisher toured with Cal Tjader's group for more than six years, and... read more

Mark O'Connor - Suspended Reality
by Michael Steinman, Cadence

O'Connor and colleagues, heard on 'Suspended Reality', are sophisticated soloists and ensemble players. This is only O'Connor's second CD, and he shows great skill as a saxophonist. However, the CD presents all but two of his original compositions, which occasionally meander (his tribute to wife Betony an exception): the overall result is fervent but somewhat derivative late- period lyrical Hard Bop. But he is someone to keep an eye on in... read more

Liam Sillery - On The Fly
by Jeff Krow, Audiophile Audition

Liam Sillery, the New York-based young trumpeter, is back with his second OA2 release, and has hit paydirt with On the Fly. For those of you who mourn for a modern version of the classic Blue Note sound, you no longer have to search out pricey Criss Cross label imports, the one label that has tried to put out Blue Note quality CDs with young jazz artists as leaders. Now you can throw the OA2 label into the mix.

Sillery is blessed again with... read more

Budman / Levy Orchestra - From There To Here
by Don Lerman, Cadence

The Budman/Levy Orchestra do full musical justice to the compositions and arrangements of Jeremy Levy on "From There to Here." Saxophonist Alex Budman, who formed this big band with Levy in the mid-2000s, solos on most cuts, presenting a full tenor tone (soprano on some selections) and building his solos judiciously and with an awareness of the flow of the piece. The writing of Levy, who composed nine of the eleven selections and arranged all... read more

Shawn Maxwell - Shawn Maxwell's New Tomorrow
by Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz

Chicago-based saxophonist Shawn Maxwell has produced an excellent run of straight ahead CD releases in the past decade, sets like his two self-produced discs, Originals (2006) and Originals II (2008), and Maxwell's House (Chicago Session LTD, 2010) before he changed his game up with Shawn Maxwell's Alliance (Chicago Sessions LTD, 2015), a shift away from mainstream quartet - sax and rhythm section - to a walk-on-the-mini-big-band wild side,... read more

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