OA2 Records Reviews

Dan Gailey Jazz Orchestra - What Did You Dream?
by Harvey Siders, JazzTimes.com

For over two decades, Dan Gailey has directed the jazz program at the University of Kansas where he's Professor of Music. After enriching the books of many college bands, as well as professional bands, Dan has taken a giant leap out of the Kansas cornfields into the maelstrom of a non-campus environment with the debut release of his 18-man, all professional Dan Gailey Jazz Orchestra.

The curtain-raiser is a prophetically titled swinger,... read more

Ben Markley Big Band - Clockwise: The Music of Cedar Walton
by Thomas Cunniffe, Jazz History Online

Ben Markley - a former contributor to these pages - writes in the liner notes to his new album "Clockwise: the Music of Cedar Walton" (OA2 22139) that "starting a big band was something I never thought was in the cards for me". Still, as director of Jazz Studies at the University of Wyoming, he is doubtlessly aware that big bands need fresh repertoire and more often than not, that music comes from small combo works. Markley's charts incorporate... read more

Rich Pellegrin - Episodes IV-VI
by Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz

(****) Pianist Richard Pellegrin offered up his first installment of Three Part Odyssey (OA2 Records) in 2011. It's a musical journey inspired by travels through Europe and North Africa. Employing a superb quintet, three "Episodes" blossomed from a first-rate collective approach. Pellegrin and his group follow this up with Episodes IV-VI, featuring a slightly more reflective mode, added to the same originality, top level... read more

Jeremy Levy Jazz Orchestra - The Planets: Reimagined
by Leah Williams, London Jazz News

Jeremy Levy is a composer, arranger and orchestrator who has worked across a wide range of mediums and styles over the past decade. Originally from Hannibal, Missouri, the town where Mark Twain grew up, he is now based in Los Angeles. He is responsible for the orchestrations for Netflix's hit mini-series The Queen's Gambit. He recently received his first Grammy nomination for the track Uranus: The Magician off his album The Planets:... read more

Carrie Wicks - Maybe
by Carol Banks Weber, AXS

In a city with so many jazz singers, Carrie Wicks somehow manages to stand out. Seattle's Wicks doesn't do a whole lot of gigs or albums. But what she does is concentrated and sure, a heady mix of unorthodox, intelligently chosen covers and deeply wrought originals - wrapped in an unlikely package of quiet solitude. That is, until she steps up to the microphone.

As equal a songwriter as she is a musician's singer, Wicks quietly presents a... read more

Gordon Lee and the Gleeful Big Band - Flying Dream
by Jack Bowers, All About Jazz

We're not told much about Gordon Lee except that he's a Portland, Oregon-based music educator who has performed and recorded with a number of small groups and has been writing big-band charts for eight years. His influences, he writes in the brief liner notes, range from Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane and Maria Schneider to Gustav Mahler and Igor Stravinsky, and the imprint of one or more of them is visible from... read more

Colorado Jazz Repertory Orchestra - Invitation
by Robert Rusch, Cadence

Invitation is a recording made over two days [August 16th&17th, 2016]. Colorado (the Denver area in particular) is loaded with world class jazz artists, and that's been building for the past 40 years. It feels like we've reached the point where artists no longer feel they have to flee to the coasts to have their work legitimized by the media and recording powers. Lucky for us labels such as; Capri [Colorado], Origin/OA2 [Wash.], Mack Ave.... read more

Paul Tynan & Aaron Lington - Bicoastal Collective: Chapter One
by Jay Collins, Cadence

Based upon a musical and personal friendship forged while studying at North Texas State University, Nova Scotia ‐ based trumpeter Paul Tynan and San Jose - based baritone saxophonist Aaron Lington formed the Bicoastal Collective, a tentet composed of players from locales like the Bay Area, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Nova Scotia, Iowa, and Texas. Putting aside the dizzying details of getting all... read more

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