Origin Records Reviews



Tom Collier - Alone in the Studio
by , Jazziz

Vibraphonist Tom Collier has nurtured twin passions for mallet instruments and the recording process since childhood. His dad, a professional trumpet player, was also a 78-rpm-recording hobbyist, and he even recorded his 4-year old son playing xylophone in 1954. The equipment, and Collier Jr.'s playing, grew more sophisticated over the years, and he recalls trying to replicate the then-experimental overdubbing techniques employed by The Beatles... read more

Les DeMerle - Hittin' the Blue Notes, Volume 2
by Scott Yanow, All Music Guide

Most of the music on this CD, which features drummer Les DeMerle and his straight-ahead sextet/septet, seems to have been recorded in 2000; no exact date is given. However since the late blues singer Jimmy Witherspoon is on "Goin' to Chicago" and "Money's Getting' Cheaper" (from a live date while backed by a trio with DeMerle) and he passed away in 1997, those two cuts date from a few years earlier. No one in DeMerle's group is famous, but they... read more

Upper Left Trio - Ulternative
by John Barron, The Jazz Word

Portland's Upper Left Trio continues to bring a contemporary leaning to the traditional piano trio format with Ulternative, their fourth release for Origin Records. With a fresh batch of hip tunes by pianist Clay Giberson and bassist Jeff Leonard, this like-minded collaborative relish in progressive improvisational splendor with the willingness to dig in to a deep groove.

Giberson moves back and forth from acoustic and electric piano,... read more

John Bishop - Nothing If Not Something
by Tom Morgan, Percussive Notes

This recording is the result of an
over ten-year association between
drummer John Bishop, bassist Jeff
Johnson and saxophonist Rick
Mandyck. This piano-less trio,
while somewhat reminiscent of
Elvin Jones' groups, has developed
an original sound and approach.
Playing without a harmonic instrument
requires a high level of communication
and a strong harmonic
foundation that is aptly provided by
Johnson. His big, rich sound is... read more

Jeff Johnson - Suitcase
by Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz

Bassist Jeff Johnson traveled the United States from the 1970s until 1990. He followed the work during his time of transience, and played an array of styles, from R&B to country, from blues to pop, and jazz. Then he put his suitcase down in Seattle and evolved into something of a house bassist for Origin Records, backing pianists Jessica Williams and Hal Galper, saxophonist Mark Taylor, vocalists Carrie Wicks and Jeff Baker, drummer John Bishop,... read more

Mimi Fox with Greta Matassa - Two For The Road
by Butch Berman, Berman Music Review

I discovered Mimi Fox backing Don Lanphere on his lovely "Like a Bird" CD, and found her guitar prowess enchanting. Her sure-fire technique covers the gamut of all stylesóshe could play with the Paul Shafer Band on "David Letterman" one night, and dual it out with Jim Hall the next.



Greta Matassa's vocal style complements Miss Fox's phrasing like they were born to play together, as she wails, howls, growls and soothes, a very gifted,... read more

Randy Halberstadt - Parallel Tracks
by Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz

The piano trio format serves me not only as a sort of nourishment, but also as a form of reset device. Every couple of months I push back the larger ensemble discs and and pull out the most vibrant piano trio discs of the past year or so, put them on the stereo and listen to some jazz, straight, no chaser, for pure personal enjoyment, and to recalibate the ears.

Seattle-based pianist Randy Halberstadt's Parallel Tracks, with its collective... read more

Ark Ovrutski - Intersection
by Mike Jurkovic, Elmore Magazine

Since his arrival in America from Kiev in 2005, bassist/composer Ark Ovrutski has steadily gained deserved entrance into the NY jazz scene with his intuitive fusion of global musics and their vivid interplay, all of which is on full display on Intersection.

Bill Evans's imitable "Waltz for Debby" opens Intersection and finds this top-shelf quintet - trombonist Michael Dease, saxophonist Michael Thoms, pianist Helio Alves, percussionist... read more

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