Origin Records Reviews

The Acoustic Jazz Quartet - Organic
by Adam Greenburg, All Music Guide

The sophomore album of jazz from the Acoustic Jazz Quartet that isn't actually acoustic (amps and pickups are used throughout). The pieces are written primarily by Jamie Findlay, the guitarist and devout Baha'I follower. Taking the influence of his religion, a number of the works here are based in some manner upon the Baha'i faith and the celebration of the Bab. The playing itself is perfectly good, with Findlay's guitar pulling through some... read more

Ryan Shultz - Hair Dryers
by Chris Spector, Midwest Record

You'd have to be a hard core jazzbo to get the significance of this but Shultz is one of the few bass trumpeters out there. And he's right here in Chicago pushing the envelope of innovation right in our backyards. With a bunch of locals backing him that locals would do well to get more familiar with, this music of big shoulders is not full of smelly onions. This crew had to spend a fair bunch of time digging the sounds of AACM and they... read more

Dick Reynolds - Music & Friends
by George Fendel, Jazz Society of Oregon

The liner notes indicate that Reynolds has spent much of an honorable music career as a do-everything musician in Chicago. All well conceived work, to be sure, but I have this notion of having seen his name on scores of albums by quality pop and sometimes jazz singers "back in the day." The "friends" referred to in the title are both the talented players on the album and the recipients of several tributes. Among these are a few to personal... read more

Marlene Rosenberg - Bassprint
by Bill Milkowski, JazzTimes

A fixture on the Chicago scene, versatile bassist-composer-bandleader Marlene Rosenberg is joined on the smart, eminently swinging set by three Windy City transplants: guitarist Scott Hesse, Parisia-born drummer Makaya McCraven and the fine saxophonist Geof Bradfield. Rosenberg reveals key influences -- namely Thelonious Monk and Wayne Shorter -- on "Tale of Two Monk Keys," which points up her woody, robust upright tone, and on the mysterious... read more

Giacomo Gates - Centerpiece
by Christopher Loudon, Jazz Times

Another extraordinary vocal stylist we never hear enough from is Giacomo Gates. He's often and accurately credited as a contemporary Eddie Jefferson, but with his full bodied baritone and blazing inventiveness, he sounds like the love child of Billy Eckstine and Kurt Elling. As bracing an innovator as he is an interpreter, Gates transforms his third studio album, Centerpiece (Origin), into a cornucopia of delicacies that extends from a smooth,... read more

Lynn Bush with New Stories - Still Life
by Mark Fefer, Seattle Weekly

Sometimes I think it's me. Maybe I have a "problem" with female singers. Or maybe jazz really is dead and that's why Krall and Karrin and Monheit bore me to madness with their tiresome twittery standards. And then I hear someone like Lynn Bush and realize that jazz lives plenty and so does my heart. She won't win awards for prettiest voice or most pristine technique, but shit, computers, and computer-like performers can supply that now. Bush has... read more

Dee Daniels - Intimate Conversations
by Chris Spector, Midwest Record

Daniels is one of those jazz singers that's managed a four decade career without most of you ever hearing of her. Spending time in Europe and as part of the ensemble, no matter what the ensemble has been, it's only been recently she's been taking the spotlight. And speaking of taking the spotlight, this is an album of vocal/instrumental duets with some of New York's best jazzbos providing the various notes. With an adventurous set... read more

Laurie Antonioli - Songs of Shadow, Songs of Light
by Doug Boynton, Girl Singers.org

Subtitled "The Music of Joni Mitchell," right out of the box, you know it's going to be a little bit of a tightrope act. It's not like "The Music of Cole Porter," or "Johnny Mercer;" songs that have been done a bazillion times, and no one (in my demographic, anyway) can remember exactly who did the original.

On these, there's no doubt. Joni Mitchell did the original. And mostly (in my demographic, anyway), we remember how... read more

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