Origin Records Reviews

Scenes - ...but not heard
by George Fendel, Jazz Society of Oregon

Students of jazz are always told to listen to everyone, borrow what inspires them, but give it back eventually. Because their most important assignment is to find a voice of their own. Many flattering things can be said of Portland guitarist John Stowell. And one of them is that he is very much his own man in a highly creative musical sense. He even holds the guitar like nobody else! On this CD, Stowell is reunited with his Seattle playing mates... read more

Bill Anschell | Brent Jensen - We Couldn't Agree More
by Ken Dryden, All Music Guide

Piano-soprano sax duets have only been recorded sporadically, with Mal Waldron and Steve Lacy likely being the among the most prolific to work in such a setting. Bill Anschell and Brent Jensen should revive interest in this type of pairing, because they not only complement one another's playing very well but they have the imagination to carry off each number based on little more than the bare outline of an idea. Anschell's intricate... read more

Kelly Sill / Jim McNeely / Joel Spencer - Boneyard
by Butch Berman, Berman Music Foundation.org

I was an only child born in Peoria, Ill., just a couple of stones' throw to Chicago, before we moved to Lincoln when I was one year old. My dad worked for my mom's family, selling jewelry and buying clothes for their store. He'd go to the market in New York semi-annually and fly to meet my mother and me in Chicago for our annual summer vacation. She and I would take the train to rendezvous there. When I was 10 and very much into baseball, they... read more

Christopher Icasiano - Provinces
by Paul Simpson, The Answer Is In the Beat

The first solo album from Christopher Icasiano (of Seattle-based jazz group Bad Luck) contains two continuous suites ("Provinces" and "Taho") related to the complexity of cultural identity as a second generation Filipino-American. The album consists entirely of complex, sometimes frenzied drumming mixed with ambient synths as well as some field recordings from the Philippines. On the first track, which goes for ten minutes, he keeps up a rapid... read more

Jessica Williams - Billy's Theme: A Tribute to Dr. Billy Taylor
by Ric Bang, The Davis Enterprise, September 14, 2006

Jessica Williams was 4 when she discovered her grandmother's piano.

By age 7, little Jessica was taking formal lessons; she soon was accepted at the prestigious Peabody Conservatory. While still in her teens, she was playing regularly with a jazz combo; by 20 she had moved to California and literally had her pick of the dozens of groups performing there.

She's a great pianist, and she also writes and arranges prolifically. Her discography... read more

The Spin Quartet - In Circles
by Carol Banks Weber, AXS

Take a classically inclined, modern jazz technician in Seattle and put him together with some visiting superstar guest artists - his Chicago heroes. Makes for a can't-miss series of Western Washington concerts this month, especially if the heroes in question are Kobie Watkins, Clark Sommers, and Geof Bradfield, the best in the business.

Drummer Watkins can double-down with finesse and groove. He'd better. He's Sonny Rollins' main guy.... read more

David Friesen and Glen Moore - Bactrian
by Chris Lunn, Ancient Victorys

This is the third recorded collaboration of these musical giants known for their compositions, bass playing, and associations with each other and other major players and groups. They have toured the United States as a duo and have graced Europe with concerts, clinics, and workshops. Both bass players in a 2006 jazz poll were voted in the top twenty bass players of all time. In this recording, they both play bass (Friesen a Hemage and Moore an... read more

Andrew Rathbun Large Ensemble - The Atwood Suites
by Tree Palmedo, Oregon Jazz Scene

With big-budget adaptations like The Handmaid's Tale catching the public eye, Canadian writer Margaret Atwood doesn't exactly need more publicity. But with this ambitious, large-ensemble double album, composer Andrew Rathbun seeks to highlight a lesser-known facet of Atwood's bibliography: her poetry. With vocalists Luciana Souza and Aubrey Johnson fronting the band, Rathbun transforms Atwood's emotive poems, which often deal with weighty issues... read more

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