Origin Records Reviews

Laurie Antonioli - The Constant Passage of time
by C. Michael Bailey, All About Jazz

West coast vocalist and teacher Laurie Antonioli has had a storied jazz career (which she has mentioned committing to the page one day). Presently, she is enjoying a calm period of determined evolution and realization that has resulted in her most recent recordings: American Dreams (Intrinsic Music, 2010), Songs Of Shadow, Songs Of Light: The Music Of Joni Mitchell (Origin Records, 2014) and Varuna (Origin Records, 2015). Antonioli extends her... read more

Michael Waldrop - Origin Suite
by Jack Bowers, All About Jazz

Drummer / vibraphonist Michael Waldrop 's intriguing Origin Suite (deftly arranged by Jack Cooper) sweeps away musical boundaries to make its points, one of which is that big-band jazz needn't be ensnared in a time warp but is capable of changing with the times to engender songs that are as aesthetically pleasing as they are thematically stylish.

The three-movement suite, written to feature Waldrop on drums and vibes, calls to mind in its... read more

speak - Speak
by Jay Collins, Cadence

Too often, the Jazz press laments the lack of mentorship in Jazz, with too many musicians coming right out of the conservatory without continuing oversight from more seasoned musicians. While the youngish 40 year old Cuong Vu might seem an unlikely "Jazz Elder," various playing experiences with the likes of many cutting-edge New York City groups, as well as big names like Pat Metheny or Laurie Anderson, seem to have prepared him for this course.... read more

Laurie Antonioli and Richie Beirach - Varuna
by Andrew Gilbert, Daily Democrat News (Sacramento)

Best of 2015: Bay Area Jazz - Laurie Antonioli leads one of the better bands in the Bay Area, but for her gorgeous album "Varuna" (Origin), she reunites with the great American pianist Richie Beirach (who's been based in Germany since 2000). They're joined by bassist Pepe Berns on four of the album's 13 tracks, but working as a duo they spin gossamer spells out of standards like "Summer Night," the bossa nova "Gentle Rain" and... read more

Amit Friedman - Sunrise
by Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz

This seems to be shaping up as the year of the "Sunrise." Two outstanding sets by that name have been released in 2012: one by the Masabumi Kikuchi Trio on ECM Records, the other a self-produced gem by the Indo/American chamber ensemble, Karavika. Israeli saxophonist Amit Friedman makes it a triptych with his own Sunrise, on Seattle's Origin Records.

Friedman has a knack for memorable melodies enmeshed in sophisticated and lively... read more

Alex Graham - The Good Life
by Adam Greenburg, All Music Guide

This quartet session, led by sax player Alex Graham, takes a crack at showing off all that can be right with a quartet in the post-bop era. The tone is generally light, with a fair amount of call and response between Graham's sax and the rhythm section. Generally the demeanor is bouncing, almost like an updated Sunny Side of the Street. The band deals well with originals as well as nice pieces from Wayne Shorter and even a small-band arrangement... read more

Laurie Antonioli and Richie Beirach - Varuna
by Chris Spector, Midwest Record

Sometimes you just have to wait until things are right. Antonioli has been working with Beirach for over 25 years, mostly on his stomping grounds in Germany when she was based over there. This set was begun 10 years ago and was only finished up recently, and it's just the two of them for most of the set. Even when tackling the chestnuts, Antonioli finds her art chick side, making this a totally different set than her Joni Mitchell tribute set... read more

EEA - The Dark
by David Kane, Cadence

Highly original is the fine music to be found on The Dark. EEA is a trio of a slightly unusual configuration: piano, trumpet, and sax. In the hands of these fine musicians, this combination reveals itself to be a most agreeable one indeed. The music consists of a handful of excellent originals penned by pianist Ake together with two lesser heard Ellington pieces, "Heaven" and "African Flower" together with a moody retelling of Gismonti's... read more

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