Origin Records Reviews

Steve Million - Remembering The Way Home
by Thomas Conrad, JazzTimes, Jan/Feb 09

This album came about because Steve Million (a five-night-a-week working jazz pianist in Chicago) began studying classical music again. He says that the experience took him back to an early version of his playing, before he had committed himself to jazz. Remembering the Way Home is an attempt to capture the freshness of Million's first discoveries of music, filtered through the knowledge and skills he has since gained.

It works. This... read more

Randy Halberstadt - Flash Point
by Adam Greenberg, All Music Guide

Though the Origin label has a special knack for finding excellent bands led by drummers, they have also had considerable success discovering groups led by talented musicians who play other instruments. Pianist Randy Halberstadt is an excellent example of this. On his second album for the label, Halberstadt combines with a quartet of additional notables from the Seattle jazz scene for a surprisingly wide-ranging set. The album opens in a strong... read more

George Colligan & Theoretical Planets - Risky Notion
by Matthias Kirsch, Gina Love Jazz (Berlin)

George Colligan, the pianist who has worked with everyone from Phil Woods to Cassandra Wilson, from Nicholas Payton to Vanessa Rubin, or from Gary Bartz to Don Byron, also plays trumpet, organ, and drums. And his latest album "Risky Notion" is where you can hear him solely playing the latter. With his group, the Theoretical Planets, he has come up with 10 original compositions, all drum-heavy and percussive, with the leader clearly in the... read more

Ark Ovrutski - Intersection
by John Ephland, Downbeat

There are some nifty passages that emerge on bassist Ark Ovrutski's new album, a collection of originals mixed with a few covers. The playing is top-notch, and the interaction between group members is at a consistently high level, making Intersection a fine acoustic jazz outing.

Starting with Bill Evans' "Waltz For Debby," the mood is framed within a straightahead paradigm, with trombonist Michael Dease and reed player... read more

Scenes - Rinnova
by Thomas R. Erdmann, Jazz Review

Scenes is a jazz guitar trio including John Stowell on guitar, Jeff Johnson on bass and John Bishop on drums. They've been playing and recording together for over nine years. This is their third recording on Origin Records. Each of these veteran musicians has worked with some of the biggest names in jazz. Stowell's career includes thirty years playing in duo with monster bassist David Friesen, as well as work with other artists including Art... read more

Piet Verbist - Suite Reunion
by George W. Harris, Jazz Weekly

Bassist Piet Verbist brings his compositions to the table with Bart Borremans/ts, Bram Weuters/p, and Dre Pallemaerts-Wim Eggermont/dr. Verbst's bass is sonorous and reflective on his solo piece "Mygratum" and uses his strings to lead into pieces like the spacious and sparkling "Hope in Despair" and serpentine "Devious Ways." Weijters is peppy on the upbeat boppers "Bright Minor" and "Blues Excuse, as Borremans creates warm and long shadows on... read more

Chicago Jazz Orchestra with Cyrille Aimee - Burstin' Out!
by Thomas W. Altizer, Amazon.com

This album swings! The vocalist, Cyrille Aimée, is a perfect addition to one of the tightest big band ensembles in memory. From the first cut, "What A Little Moonlight Can Do" to the extraordinary "It Don't Mean A Thing..." both the band and the singer are in perfect harmony and simply raise the roof! To see this pairing live would no doubt be an unforgettable experience. But until the Chicago Jazz Orchestra and Cyrille Aimée come to a... read more

Chad McCullough & Bram Weijters - Abstract Quantities
by George W. Harris, Jazz Weekly

Warm-toned Chad McCullough / tp and evocative Bram Waijters / p-keys lead a subtle quartet with Piet Verbist / b and John Bishop / dr through a collection of quiet and lyrical originals. There's a bit of agitation and drive on material like "Glorious Traffic Jam," but for the most part you get sophisticated melodies gently laid out as on "Mr. Rubato," "Winter's Lament" and "Billions." The team is simpatico, and lets the candles burn all the way... read more

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