OA2 Records Reviews



Andrew Oliver Sextet - 82% Chance of Rain
by Brett Campbell, Willamette Week

With his Kora Band and Portland Jazz Composers Orchestra, hard-working young keyboardist Andrew Oliver has become a mainstay of this city's jazz scene. His high-energy second sextet release gets the precipitation percentage wrong, but just about everything else right.

82% Chance of Rain is an eclectic collection, but a year of honing these 10 tracks has allowed them to benefit from the variety of the composers? well-integrated yet distinctive... read more

Jim Olsen - We See Stars
by Ric Bang, Jazz Scan

Even though Jim Olsen lives and works in my neck of the woods, I wasn't the least bit familiar with him. He plays flute and sax, composes and arranges, and has been doing so for more than 30 years. He has been associated with the Eastman School of Music, Kansas University, the University of Denver, Indiana University and ensembles throughout the state of Oregon. He served for 15 years as music director of The Swing Shift Orchestra, a... read more

Kyle Asche Organ Trio - The Hook Up
by Paul Abella, Chicago Jazz Magazine, March/April 2006

One name on the Chicago jazz scene that's gotten a lot of recognition in the last couple of years is that of Kyle Asche. A superb guitarist with a nice tone and great command of his instrument, those of us in the know have seen his name float around for a while now. Now he has the chance to get his name out to a wider audience with a new album out on OA2 records called The Hook Up.
The Hook Up is an organ trio date with the fabulous Pete... read more

Electric Squeezebox Orchestra - Cheap Rent
by Yoshi Kato, Downbeat Magazine

* * * *1/2 stars!

Humor and camaraderie characterize the thoroughly enjoyable debut from this communal big band with an ongoing Sunday residency at a stylish and comfortable subterranean venue in San Francisco's North Beach neighborhood.

Led by trumpeter Erik Jekabson, the ESO is an impressively democratic group. On the album, 15 0f the 23 members have solos, and five contribute original compositions. Cheap Rent opens with a... read more

Jim Olsen - We See Stars
by George W. Harris, Jazz Weekly

Composer and arranger Jim Olsen brings together a richly textured and snazzily swinging big band which includes top notch soloists such as Bobby Shew/tp, Dick Oatts/sax and John Harmon/key. The eight originals mix toe tapping swing such as on “Illogical Conclusion” with lush ballads such as “Wistful,” with even a touch of modern sounds a la Stravinsky thrown in. A piece such as “ Dark Sun” does some exciting work with harmonies, while solos by... read more

Steve Owen - Stand Up Eight
by Dave Sumner, Bird is the Worm

A hell of an impression for his debut album. On Stand Up Eight, conductor and arranger Steve Owen brings together an 18-piece ensemble for an astounding display of orchestral jazz. Moments that absolutely soar and others that jitter invitingly closer to earth. The kind of beauty and power that can uplift a listener's heart at the same time it's punching a hole through it. Just one strong moment after the next. And this is a big band... read more

Liam Sillery Quintet - Minor Changes
by Scott Yanow, All Music Guide

The quintet of young players on Minor Changes performs an updated version of hard bop. The best-known musician is probably Los Angeles-based tenor saxophonist David Sills, but all five are talented players. Although six of the seven selections are by trumpeter Liam Sillery (all but Billy Preston's "You Are So Beautiful"), the music is primarily straight-ahead modern mainstream music, with the musicians sounding at their best on "Terry's Blues,"... read more

Dan Gailey Jazz Orchestra - What Did You Dream?
by George Fendel, Oregon Jazz Society

Big bands may be a rarity as a professional touring concept, but in the university setting they thrive, thanks to exceptional teachers like Gailey, from the University of Kansas. Gailey's compositions and arrangements for this group, made up of polished professionals, bristle with electricity, as on the pounding swing and horn punches of the opener, "Audacity," which features counterpoint stabs of chordal fortitude. There are moments of lighter... read more

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