OA2 Records Reviews

Jimmy Bennington - Midnight Choir
by Jon Davis, Expose

The tracks on this release are the work of a trio (drummer Jimmy Bennington and bassist David Klingensmith with sax player Seth Paynter) augmented from time to time by either trombone (Bruce Melville) or piano (John Benjamin). Paynter is the most frequent composer, with a selection each by John Coltrane, Albert Mangelsdorff, and Michel LeGrande. The tracks, recorded in 1996 and 1998 but only released in 2003, are fairly free in sound, but offer... read more

Gail Pettis - Here in the Moment
by Howard Dukes, Soul Tracks

It's easy for listeners to forget, but a jazz vocalist ignores this basic fact at his or her own peril: the voice is an instrument. A whole lot of contemporary singers don?t realize that they are band members. Those singers want to be the center of attention. Their vocal acrobatics limit the creativity of their fellow musicians, turning what is supposed to be a musical democracy into a cult of personality dominated by the singer. Of course,... read more

Nelda Swiggett - Blue-Eyed Painted Lady
by Dave Sumner, emusic

Gorgeous jazz-with-strings recording by pianist & vocalist Swiggett, who offers a set of tunes with a warm electricity and a fluidity of motion that just carries the listener along. Along with her standing trio of drummer Byron Vannoy and bassist Chris Symer, Swiggett recruited a cellist and violist from the Seattle Symphony, and that pairing results in some beautiful melodies getting lofted up to a high plateau via the additional harmonic... read more

Jeff Baker - Phrases
by Robert Rusch, Cadence

JEFF BAKER is a vocalist of some originality which is nicely presented on PHRASES, a 5/19-24/17 date with Darrell Grant [p], Steve Wilson [as/ss], Geof Bradfield [ts], Marquis Hill [tpt], Gregory Uhlmann [gtr], Clark Sommers [b] and Brian Blade [drm]. There are a few things that distinguish this fine recording: with 11 tracks (six originals) and 75:15 minutes there is plenty of time to stretch out and they do, at times making the singing... read more

George Cotsirilos - Past Present
by R.A., CD Hot List

Bay Area guitarist George Cotsirilos has the kind of soft touch and effortlessly artful phrasing that other guitarists would kill for, and he also has a near-magical ability to improvise melodies that are simultaneously surprising and inevitable. This is unapologetically old-fashioned, straight-ahead jazz that nevertheless feels fresh and new, whether he's playing one of his fine originals or interpreting a standard like "The Way You Look... read more

Errol Rackipov - Distant Dreams
by Chris Spector, Midwest Record

The vibes player comes in with a date that has a vague Brazilian patina to it that you can't put your finger on. That's because it's jazz inspired by Bulgarian folk music. Bristling with the kind of energy you enjoy when you make a zesty, new discovery, this set is sure to be always welcome in your ear the more you play it. The kind of jazz that gave you your light bulb moment when you really made the turn to jazz in college, this is a fast ball... read more

Daniel Jamieson's Danjam Orchestra - Sudden Appearance
by Roberto Paviglianiti, italia.AllAboutJazz.com

[translated from Italian]

Sudden Appearance is the discographic debut of the young composer Daniel Jamieson - already a soloist in the Toronto Symphony Orchestra - leading a big band. The album offers a playlist of eight songs that begins with "Alone Together" (Howard Dietz & Arthur Schwartz) and concludes with "Smile" (Charlie Chaplin), the only two remakes in a program consisting of originals of great interest, both formal and... read more

Paul Tynan & Aaron Lington - Bicoastal Collective: Chapter Five
by Hobart Taylor, KUCI - Irvine, CA

Another large ensemble posing as a big band is this collaboration between baritone saxophonist Aaron Lington and trumpeter Paul Tynan. Playing tunes by one or the other, they join 12 other horn and woodwind artists, a piano and rhythm section in straight ahead excursions that amble off into realms of expanding consciousness.
The baritone solo on "I Remember Every Day" leads into multifaceted overviews of moments in time that have Zappalike... read more

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