OA2 Records Reviews

Joan Hickey - Between The Lines
by Paul Abella, Chicago Jazz Magazine

Ever heard on of those discs where everything sounds like something you've heard before, but you can't quite put your finger on it? Joan Hickey's latest disc, Between The Lines, is one of those really interesting records that just plain sounds familiar.

Of course when your disc starts off sounding a bit like VSOP and wraps up with the one-two punch of a solid nod to the Dave Holland Quintet and a slab of some happening bebop, you're... read more

Nadav Snir-Zelniker - Thinking Out Loud
by Adam Greenberg, All Music Guide

The Origin label and its sister label OA2 have a knack for unearthing jazz drummers and making them into bandleaders, utilizing the more rhythmically intense compositions that stem from a leader in that position as something of a hallmark. Nadav Snir-Zelniker, a drummer from the New York scene, combines here with pianist Ted Rosenthal and bassist Todd Coolman. While they tackle a series of standards and new compositions alike, the mix of... read more

Gail Pettis - Here in the Moment
by Melissa Goldberg, O, The Oprah Magazine

Gail Pettis can't explain the difference between Lydian and Dorian scales, but that doesn't concern the 58-year-old jazz singer one bit. Because when Pettis saunters up to a microphone and unleashes her rich alto on a Nat King Cole classic, technicalities are the last thing on her mind. "Jazz is about expressing what's inside you in a real way,"she says. "When I sing, I feel like I'm doing what I was born to do. It's how I imagine flying... read more

Ben Markley - Second Introduction
by Adam Greenberg, All Music Guide

For his sophomore release (and his first with the OA2 label), pianist Ben Markley put together a mix of old friends and bigger players on the scene for a set of original compositions and a jumping, driving feel. The album opens with 5-20, giving each player some time to work out a solo and show what the newly formed quintet can do together. After a nice post-bop introduction, Markley shows a nice touch with some blues-based soloing, passing it... read more

Ben Neuman - Introductions
by Ken Dryden, All Music Guide

Jazz pianist Ben Neuman's recording debut as a leader is hardly a typical affair, as he doesn't merely focus on showing off his formidable chops or stick to the all-too-typical program of nothing but originals. Instead, his sessions with veterans Dennis Carroll (a fine bassist who has recorded with Lin Halliday, Jodie Christian and Bobby Broom during his decades on the jazz scene) and the potent drummer George Fludas (who has taken part in... read more

Daniel Barry - Walk All Ways
by Stewart Mason, All Music Guide

Jazz and other forms of instrumental music first started exploring Latin, African, and Afro-Caribbean rhythms and melodies in earnest in the 1940s and '50s, first as a novelty, then as the kitschy style now known as exotica. By the '60s, as black and Latino communities started exploring their cultural heritages, the music got more serious, and by the advent of "world music" as its own section in the record store in the 1970s, these musical... read more

Nelda Swiggett - Blue-Eyed Painted Lady
by Jeff Janeczko, Earshot Jazz

Pianist and composer Nelda Swiggett's latest offering, Blue-Eyed Painted Lady, is a 9-track disc of original compositions played skillfully by her "stringtet" - that is, her piano trio (Chris Symer, bass; Byron Vannoy, drums) augmented by violist Rachel Swerdlow and cellist Walter Gray, both of the Seattle Symphony (Gray was also a founding member of the Kronos Quartet). Though it is Swiggett's fourth CD, it is the first recording for the... read more

Lynn Baker Quartet - Azure Intention
by Amazon.com, Amazon.com

In addition to being a fluid, heartfelt improviser, Denver-based saxophonist, Lynn Baker composes with an ear for melody and a mind for artistic challenge. On Azure Intention, Baker's debut recording for OA2 Records, he presents eight originals that were penned over the last 20 years.

Along with pianist Reggie Berg, drummer Paul Mullikin, and bassist Bijoux Barbosa, they create a cohesive, resonating statement ranging from Lament, an... read more

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