OA2 Records Reviews

Joan Hickey - Between The Lines
by Neil Tesser, Chicago Reader

For pianist JOAN HICKEY, the new Between the Lines (on the Seattle imprint OA2 Records) is a triumph of another sort: because the only previous CD under her own name barely got distributed, this will be her debut for most listeners. For me the disc is something of a revelation for other reasons. As I've come to expect from her, Hickey holds together this forceful but supple quintet in part by providing solid foundations for the soloists with... read more

Liam Sillery - Priorite
by Adam Greenberg, All Music Guide

Still exploring his sound with a strong quintet, trumpeter Liam Sillery is a long way off from his days with the California sound of the Acoustic Jazz Quartet. On Priorité, Sillery combines with his stalwart troupe for a solid session of post-bop, no modifications needed. While Sillery himself tends to take the lead solo in most places, flights of fancy that can show both speed and power, there's ample time given to the rest of the ensemble --... read more

Gail Pettis - May I Come In?
by Doug Ramsey, Rifftides

In her recording debut, the Seattle singer chooses a mixture of familiar standards and less-well-known songs, delivering them with warmth and intelligent interpretation. Pettis concentrates on serving songwriters' intentions, but her delighted treatment of Jimmy McHugh's "I Just Found Out About Love" includes one of two scatting episodes in the collection. She scats with musicianly understanding of harmony. There is not a lot of that going... read more

Danny Green - Altered Narratives
by Dave Sumner, Bird is the Worm

Unapologetically cheerful and light, this trio set from pianist Danny Green, bassist Justin Grinnell and drummer Julien Cantelm offers up a pop music style of jazz that beams a wide smile that means it. Intriguingly, planted smack dab in the center of the recording are three pieces that bring in a string quartet. The shift in sound is very much plumb with what preceded it, but the emotional impact provided is one that balances nicely with the... read more

JazzVox - Jazzvox Presents: In Your Own Backyard
by George Fendel, Jazz Society of Oregon

OA2 Records, out of Seattle, has issued a compilation of singers and most of them are well worth hearing. I guess everyone has their own favorites, but here are mine: John Proulx, a singer-pianist with a similarity to Chet Baker (but he's a better singer). He does a Frank Rosolino rarity called "Please Don't Bug Me" and also contributes a delicate love song to his newly born daughter entitled "Welcome to My World." Proulx has a couple CDs out on... read more

Gordon Lee - This Path
by John Henry, Audiophile Audition

Lee is a respected Portland, OR pianist, composer, arranger and music educator. He's performed around the world and with some of the top names in jazz. His diverse expertise covers avant-garde, symphonic, fusion and big band. The many different influences result in an extremely diverse collection of a dozen tracks which he has composed or arranged. The "Lakota Song" and "Sitting Bull's Revenge" reminded me of a memorable evening Lee... read more

Hashem Assadullahi - Pieces
by Elliott Simon, New York City Jazz Record

Guitarist Justin Morell’s raga-informed intro on CD opener “Prized Possession” entreats the listener to get on board this somewhat disjointed but compositionally intricate session from saxophonist Hashem Assadullahi. Trumpeter Ron Miles’ luxuriant tone melds with Morell’s spaciousness before Assadullahi leads the sextet into various collectively inspired realms. Aptly named Pieces, things evolve and devolve into songs about lots of different... read more

Afro Bop Alliance - Revelation
by Dave Rogers, WTJU - Richmond

The Afro Bop Alliance is based in DC and has been won a Grammy and the respect of jazz critics and fans alike. Led by drummer / percussionist Joe McCarthy, the band includes Luis Hernandez (tenor saxophone), Tim Stanley (trumpet), Vince Norman (alto saxophone), Victor Provost (steel pan), Harry Appelman (piano), Tom Baldwin (bass) and Roberto Quintero (percussion) and many guests. They cover many styles, offering wonderful variety as well as... read more

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