OA2 Records Reviews

Ben Winkelman Trio - Balance
by Matt Micucci, Jazziz

Melbourne-raised, New York City-based award-winning pianist-composer Ben Winkelman released his new album, Balance, on March 15 via OA2 Records. The new record is a collection of nine Winkelman original compositions plus a reworking of "Bye-Ya" by piano legend Thelonious Monk. It also finds him playing alongside drummer Obed Calvaire and bassist Matt Penman and taking a fresh approach to the piano trio format with an emphasis on the ensemble. On... read more

Seattle Womens Jazz Orchestra - Dreamcatcher
by Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz

According to the Seattle Women's Jazz Orchestra web site:

The Seattle Women's Jazz Orchestra was formed to nurture the musical, educational and artistic growth of individual musicians, to encourage women to become involved in jazz performance/composition as a career or avocation, and to foster community interest in and appreciation of jazz as an art form.
It's a mission statement, I suppose, a little wordy, with admirable intentions; and if... read more

Nelda Swiggett - Blue-Eyed Painted Lady
by Dave Sumner, emusic

Gorgeous jazz-with-strings recording by pianist & vocalist Swiggett, who offers a set of tunes with a warm electricity and a fluidity of motion that just carries the listener along. Along with her standing trio of drummer Byron Vannoy and bassist Chris Symer, Swiggett recruited a cellist and violist from the Seattle Symphony, and that pairing results in some beautiful melodies getting lofted up to a high plateau via the additional harmonic... read more

Afro Bop Alliance - Revelation
by Steven Cerra, Jazz Profiles

Everytime I think I've heard it all in terms of Latin Jazz in Big Band configurations along comes something new and different to dazzle and surprise me. Such was the case with the latest from Grammy-award winning drummer Joe McCarthy and saxophonist Vince Norman who co-lead the Afro Bop Alliance. Their forthcoming CD is entitled Revelation and it was just that as it moved my ears in new directions concerning Latin Big Band Jazz. One of the... read more

Mark O'Connor - Suspended Reality
by Adam Greenberg, All Music Guide

With a long gap between albums as a leader, saxophonist Mark O'Connor leads his group through a fairly casual set on Suspended Reality, building a layer of instrumentation around a focal set of sax lines. The sound is locked into a slight blues groove for most of the proceedings, O'Connor combining with piano and bass to provide a strong night club aesthetic. Just a hint of gospel creeps in when it's called for, just a bit of soul-jazz creeps in... read more

Unhinged Sextet - Don't Blink
by David A. Orthmann, All About Jazz

Unhinged Sextet is a strong candidate for the best band you'll never hear in a live performance. The members of this cooperative ensemble are spread out across the country, earning their daily bread by training the next generation of musicians, with an emphasis on jazz studies, at various universities. They join forces for brief periods in between other commitments, woodshedding material and recording, before returning to their respective home... read more

Lolly Allen - Coming Home
by Suzanne Lorge, DownBeat

3 1/2 STARS On Lolly Allen's infectiously jocund Coming Home, the vibraphonist recalls the 1950s club scene in Los Angeles with bright remakes of tunes like Horace Silver's "The Hippest Cat In Hollywood" and Dizzy Gillespie's "Bebop." But Allen has her own view of L.A. jazz: Her originals—like the bracing "Little Hummingbird" and the colorful title track—are steeped in modernity. The sleek Lolly Allen Quintet, with additional horns... read more

Shelly Rudolph - The Way We Love
by Editor, Artslandia

The ever-evolving⁠ — and expanding⁠ — Shelly Rudolph's story continues onward and upward with the release of her latest album, the ambitious and atmospheric The Way We Love. Soul-jazz-pop chanteuse Rudolph has long been a favored voice around her hometown of Portland, Oregon, and musical travels have taken her to New York, Los Angeles, the West Indies, Japan, Korea and beyond. She has been dubbed a "robust and captivating vocalist" by... read more

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