OA2 Records Reviews



Kronomorfic - Entangled
by Chris Spector, Midwest Record

Big band space jazz. See how you can subgenre anything you want? Great sounds for contemplating either your navel or the universe, these are sounds that put the tea in the tea... 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

Danny Green - After the Calm
by Brent Black, Bop-N-Jazz

There are hundreds of fine piano trios that dot the landscape across the country, most are not memorable and have the staying power of chewing gum. The Danny Green Trio continues to show exponential growth and Green is a talent that is as technically gifted as he is artistically brilliant.

Ah the piano trio, improvisation's musical answer to "Where's Waldo?" Granted when one has literature that runs from Bud Powell to Bill Evans... read more

Stan Bock Ensemble - Night Grooves
by J. Robert Bragonier, All About Jazz

The Stan Bock Ensemble | OA2 Records Trombonist Stan Bock grew up with the music of horn bands like Blood, Sweat and Tears, Chicago, and the Motown groups. Although exposed early to classic jazz, swing, and the big bands by his music teacher father, he gravitated away from his early heroes (Tommy Dorsey and Urbie Green) and towards Wayne Henderson (Jazz Crusaders), Fred Wesley (James Brown), and James Pankow (Chicago). In those years, it was R&B... read more

Electric Squeezebox Orchestra - Cheap Rent
by Dave Sumner, Bird is the Worm

Plenty of vibrancy to the huge sound generated by Erik Jekabson's big band, but it's the way the music flows so effortlessly that makes this a winning album. And considering how most of the ensemble consists of wind instruments, this weightless quality becomes necessarily important. The talent of the Bay Area scene is nicely represented on this session. The brief diversion taken by a rendition of Herbie Hancock's groove-oriented "People... read more

Carrie Wicks - Maybe
by Carol Banks Weber, AXS

In a city with so many jazz singers, Carrie Wicks somehow manages to stand out. Seattle's Wicks doesn't do a whole lot of gigs or albums. But what she does is concentrated and sure, a heady mix of unorthodox, intelligently chosen covers and deeply wrought originals - wrapped in an unlikely package of quiet solitude. That is, until she steps up to the microphone.

As equal a songwriter as she is a musician's singer, Wicks quietly presents a... read more

Matt Olson - 789 Miles
by Mark Gilbert, Jazz Journal (London)

4-STARS "Jazz Is the Teacher, Funk Is the Preacher" goes the title of Soul Jazz Records 2018 compilation featuring Funkadelic, Gil Scott-Heron, Don Cherry and others. Matt Olson, professor of saxophone and director of jazz studies at Furman University, South Carolina, might be a teacher, and the second bit of his job title "Saxophonist & Educator" might have jazz fans wondering, but there's no lack of preaching soul in his playing on... read more

Lynn Baker Quartet - Azure Intention
by James Nadal, All About Jazz

From the opening bass lines of "Color Line" on Azure Intention, it is evident that saxophonist Lynn Baker's Quartet comes out swinging and grooving. But there is also a captivating sense of sophistication, thoughtfully played into the selections.

Baker -- ?who doubles deftly on both soprano and tenor saxophones -- composed all of Azure Intention's eight tracks, each performed with enough time and space as to allow the musicians... read more

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