Origin Records Reviews



Hal Galper Trio - Airegin Revisited
by Dave Sumner, emusic Review

Listening to the Hal Galper Trio perform is like watching fireflies? they?re a swarm of activity as they bounce off one another and flit through the air, but ostensibly pretty as they light up the night. Galper has his own sound. It?s not dramatically different from the pack, but its singular to him, and its never boring, even when it flirts with a straight-ahead modern approach. Joining him are pros Jeff Johnson on bass and John Bishop on... 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

John Bishop with Jeff Johnson, Rick Mandyck, John Stowell - Scenes
by Dave Nathan, All About Jazz

With this Origin label release, the fruitful Northwest music scene continues to manifest high caliber jazz music sessions. This time it's the 8 year-old trio of John Bishop, Jeff Johnson and Rick Mandyck enhanced by guitarist John Stowell, for more than an hour of modern and progressive jazz. The play list is certainly an attractive one combining three originals with standard and jazz classics. Stowell. who worked with David Friesen for seven... read more

John Gross / Billy Mintz - Beautiful You
by Adam Greenburg, All Music Guide

Beautiful You is a surprising work of modern free jazz from Portland's John Gross on the tenor sax and LA transplant Billy Mintz on drums. The sound is a little sparse for the majority of the album, due largely to the fact that there are only two instruments involved, but also to the style of composition embraced here, with heavy use of empty space and quiet accompaniment. The album opens with the energetic Shmear, giving Mintz plenty of room to... read more

The H2 Big Band - It Could Happen
by Jack Bowers, All About Jazz

4-STARS - As Shakespeare wrote, "That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." Who would dare argue with that? The point is that It Could Happen, the second recording by the H2 Big Band, is performed by a world-class ensemble. It's just not the H2 Big Band, which essentially remained home in Colorado save for its co-leaders, trumpeter Al Hood and pianist Dave Hanson. This is in fact a group of Los... read more

Jeff Johnson - Free
by Doug Ramsey, JazzTimes, May 2000

Bassist Jeff Johnson is admired for his work with modern mainstream musicians like pianists Jessica Williams, Hal Galper and Jack Brownlow. Here, in a different milieu, he has produced the quietest far-out album I've ever heard. Johnson frees himself for unfettered explorations with soprano and tenor saxophonist Hans Teuber and drummer Billy Mintz. The surfaces of their music are placid. Volume and dynamics levels are generally low; Mintz... read more

Jessica Williams - With Love
by George Fendel, Jazz Society of Oregon

Williams is an uncompromising artist who consistently produces one stunning album after another. In recent years, she has primarily recorded her own brilliant compositions. So this album of standards played solo is a welcome detour. She elects to state these serene and glistening melodies with only minimal improvisation. This is wise, because these melodies stand on their own. Every note says something, and Williams plays the necessary ones and... read more

David Friesen Circle 3 Trio - Where the Light Falls
by Martin Z. Kasdan Jr., Louisville Music News

David Friesen's working trio, with pianist Greg Goebel and drummer Charlie Doggett, has released a 2-disc live set, with guest guitarist Larry Koonse on nine of the nineteen tracks. The trio tracks are from a 2013 set in Germany and a 2014 set in Portland, OR, with Koonse added for a 2013 date in Tempe, AZ. On disc, the songs switch back and forth between trio and quartet; all are composed by the leader. Opening the first disc is the bright and... read more

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