OA2 Records Reviews

Jimmy Bennington - Midnight Choir
by Ben Ohmart, Muses Muse

Be warned. Jimmy Bennington's new cd Midnight Choir isn't for everyone. If you're in need of some steamy sax and mainstream vibe after a hard day at the car wash, this release isn't for you. It's jazz music that treats the drum as an instrument equal to the piano, and also believes that tunes are better felt than heard. These 7 cuts experiment with the below the skin deep beauty that music has always had, but which few artists have been daring... read more

Unhinged Sextet - Clarity
by Hrayr Attarian, Chicago Jazz Magazine

Despite its name, the Unhinged Sextet plays solidly bop-based and accessible music. At least that's what it does on its engaging and delectable debut Clarity. The elements that make this album stand out of the crowd of mainstream releases are the memorable compositions and the smooth synergy among the members of this collaborative group. The latter endows their collective sound with a delightfully orchestral quality. Altoist Will... read more

Nadav Snir-Zelniker - Thinking Out Loud
by George Fendel, Oregon Jazz Scene

It is apparent over the last decade or so that Israeli-born jazz musicians are becoming increasingly a factor in the jazz pan¬orama. Consider the arrivals of guitarist Roni Ben-Hur, scat singer Ori Dagan, piano maven Tamir Hendleman, and, in the review that follows this one, tenor saxist Benny Sharoni. This time it's drummer Nadav Snir-Zelniker who has followed his passion for the jazz art from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic. Now a busy... read more

Jay Lawrence - Thermal Strut
by Ric Bang, The Davis Enterprise

From the opening eight bars of the title tune, you know this will be an excellent release.

Although the individual musicians in this trio aren't well known to the listening public, they are key members of the musical fraternity. And, as is becoming the norm today, all are college graduates and teachers.

Jay Lawrence, the drummer and leader, has recorded more than 90 albums with the luminaries of music: You name the individuals or... read more

Nelda Swiggett - Blue-Eyed Painted Lady
by George W. Harris, Jazz Weekly

Pianist/vocalist Nelda Swiggett leads a chamber jazz team of Chris Symer/bass, Byron Vannoy/drums, Rachel Swerdlow/viola and Walter Gray/cello through some exciting, quirky and swinging originals. Tensile and dramatic pieces such as "Thanks To Solomon" or the boppish "Hewett's Blues" have the leader using either lyrics or wordless vocals with the strings pick, pluck and bow to boppish grooves. Gentle brushes sashay on the samba'd title... read more

Craig Yaremko - CYO3
by Dan Bilawsky, All About Jazz

When saxophonist Craig Yaremko was in college at the New School, one of his mentors—the esteemed Jane Ira Bloom—heard him playing with an organ group. Right then and there she said, "Craig, your sound was made to play with an organ trio." Now, more than a decade later, Yaremko is proving her right.

Yaremko relates that story in the introductory passage of his self-penned liner notes for CYO3, the debut recording from his organ trio. In that... read more

Unhinged Sextet - Clarity
by Mark Sullivan, All About Jazz

Unhinged Sextet sounds like many things—for example: swinging, cohesive, hot—but "unhinged" is not one of them. The group is a collaborative brought together by long-standing mutual associations, but they had never played together until gathering in Arizona to rehearse and record this album. Clearly their belief that they would work well together was borne out by the results: I defy anyone to think this was a first time session after... read more

Debbie Poryes | Bruce Williamson - Two and Fro
by Larry Hollis, Cadence

Another meeting of two souls is chronicled in 'Two & Fro'. A sort of West Coast (CA) meets East Coast (NY) with pianist Debbie Poryes and master-reedman Bruce Williamson putting their heads together on a mix of evergreens, a pair of Jazz staples and an original each. Like Dorothy Leigh and Alva Nelson, these two are no strangers to one another. Williamson was present on Poryes' last release for Origin, 'Catch Your Breath' a quartet date which... read more

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