Origin Records Reviews

Clark Sommers - Ba(SH)
by Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune

Bassist Sommers has been an increasingly busy figure in Chicago and beyond for more than a decade, and here he makes his belated recording debut as bandleader. Throughout, Sommers puts the emphasis on the music, rather than himself, creating a welcoming environment for colleagues Geof Bradfield on reeds and Dana Hall on drums (hence the title of the album, a kind of acronym for these musicians' names). These players speak the same musical... read more

Marius Nordal - Notoriety
by Jason West, Earshot Jazz

Oscar Peterson used to advise his students not to be afraid of the piano. Somehow, I don’t think it was piano they feared.

Listening to Marius Nordal’s "Notoriety" can be just as intimidating. Nordal’s technical mastery of the piano is immediately apparent, and his arrangements---he’s worked primarily as a composer---are highly original. To echo the words of Count Basie, Nordal plays "a whole lot of piano," and like... read more

Jim Gailloreto Jazz String Quintet - American Complex
by Adam Greenberg, All Music Guide

For his sophomore effort with the Chicago-based HAWK string quartet in tow, Jim Gailloreto's skill in composition and arrangement for a string quartet has increased notably. Instead of forcing the quartet into a gypsy-jazz romp, Gailloreto keeps the players in their comfort zone -- free from improvisation, and showcasing technical mastery and careful collaboration without sacrificing an austerity of sorts. Over the top of the quartet, though,... read more

Ray Vega & Thomas Marriott - East-West Trumpet Summit
by Ron Wynn, JazzTimes

This Ray Vega/Thomas Marriott dual trumpet release emphasizes collective interaction, cohesive ensemble presentation and the spirit of teamwork embodied in the title, though there are also plenty of times during the eight songs where differences in style and approach are evident despite the fact they're playing identical trumpets. Both men are superb melodic interpreters, and the session's program choices, which include renditions of Horace... read more

Doug Beavers Orchestra - Jazz, Baby!
by Jack Bowers, All About Jazz

Doug Beavers Rovira isn't the first bandleader to reach out to the "diminutive demographic," but he may be the first to do so without pretense or condescension. In other words, Rovira doesn't play "down" to toddlers and children, he raises them "up" by clothing nearly a dozen nursery rhymes and songs in clever orchestral arrangements that would please even the hippest adult listeners. Blend in charming vocals by Matt Catingub and Linda Harmon... read more

Greta Matassa - Favorites From A Long Walk
by George Fendel, Jazz Scene

If you missed the recent Vocal Madness gig at the Benson Hotel, here is your chance to get acquainted with Greta Matassa, a Seattle-based singer who wowed the crowd on that occasion. She gets to the heart of a song, expressing the lyric with great feeling, but never indulging in show-biz shtick. For this album, Metassa chooses 13 tunes, most of which, while familiar, are welcome, lesser known gems. Her pianist, Darin Clendenin, is especially... read more

Dee Daniels - Intimate Conversations
by Mary Kunz Goldman, The Buffalo News

Dee Daniels, Intimate Conversations (Origin Records). Dee Daniels sang once with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, and though the concert was in 2002, I remember distinctly how good she was. She brought great emotion to a bunch of Ellington songs, and she sang the heck out of the blues. She was fun to write about, too. It's not every day you can report accurately: "She held that note until it was thin as a ribbon, then fattened it... read more

Bobby Broom - Bobby Broom Plays for Monk
by Philip Booth, Downbeat, September 2009

Thelonius Monk's music-with its quirky and challenging melodies, compelling progressions and traces of humor and poignancy running through everything-is the gift that keeps on giving. His tunes, in the right hands, can sound eternally fresh. So it's no big surprise that well-traveled guitarist Bobby Broom (a regular with Sonny Rollins, Dr. John and Chicago's Deep Blue Organ Trio) is handily able to turn 10 pieces written by or associated... read more

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