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OA2 Records Reviews

OA2 Records Reviews

Debbie Poryes - Catch Your Breath
by Adam Greenberg, All Music Guide

Debbie Poryes likes to use a loping approach to the piano, as it quickly becomes clear on Catch Your Breath. On the album, her second release as a leader, she works her way through a set built upon both her own compositions and standards from the Great American Songbook. The album opens with the title track, a piece that simultaneously uses stepping motifs from post-bop piano and a classic sort of urban saxophone approach courtesy of Bruce... read more

Daria - Strawberry Fields Forever
by Paula Edelstein, AXS

Jazz vocalist Daria has released Strawberry Fields Forever, Songs By The Beatles on Origin/OA2 Records as the culmination of her own extensive solo touring and performance schedule. The 11-track recording features many of The Beatles' most popular compositions that Daria and her 16-member ensemble play with different rhythms and melodic structures while keeping the essences of each song intact.

The opening track, "When I'm 64," is a... read more

Gregory Dudzienski - Beautiful Moments
by Robert Rusch, Cadence

Tenor saxman, GREGORY DUDZIENSKI, has released BEAUTIFUL MOMENTS [OA2 Records 22183]. This November 2019 date has Chris White [p], Kelly Sill [b] and Jeff Stitely [drm] playing some excellent originals. If the music had been written and recorded by a first line jazz artist in the 1950s, they would have become jazz standards. Here is music that's lyrical and delivered without bravado.... read more

Danny Green - Altered Narratives
by George W. Harris, Jazz Weekly

Pianist Danny Green's trio has been a solid team, backing up artists such as vocalist Roberta Donnay. Here, Green shows his composing and arranging skills match his tactile talents with Justin Grinnell/b and Julien Cantelm/dr as his pieces such as "Serious Fun" and "October Ballad" show a range from Crescent City stomps to late night candelabra. Cantelm and Grinnell form an attractive restlessness underneath the lyrical ivories on "The Merge"... read more

Danny Green - Altered Narratives
by Travis Rogers, Jr., The Jazz Owl

Altered Narratives is Danny Green's fourth album, his second on the OA2 label (OA2 22128). His exemplary trio (Justin Grinnell on bass and Julien Cantelm on drums) have explored Brazilian themes and have captivated the West Coast Jazz scene with their tight, albeit lyrical, expressions.

Danny Green composed all of the tracks for Altered Narratives and the album was recorded at the famed Sear Sound in New York City. The results are... 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

Gail Pettis - May I Come In?
by Melissa Goldberg, O, The Oprah Magazine

Gail Pettis can't explain the difference between Lydian and Dorian scales, but that doesn't concern the 58-year-old jazz singer one bit. Because when Pettis saunters up to a microphone and unleashes her rich alto on a Nat King Cole classic, technicalities are the last thing on her mind. "Jazz is about expressing what's inside you in a real way,"she says. "When I sing, I feel like I'm doing what I was born to do. It's how I imagine flying... read more

Ben Markley Big Band With Ari Hoenig - Ari's Funhouse
by Ed Enright, DownBeat

Editor's Pick / 4-STARS
Pianist-composer-arranger Ben Markley completely immersed himself in the music of drummer Ari Hoenig in conceiving and orchestrating Ari's Funhouse, a big band celebration that's as thrilling and cool as taking a deep dive in someone else's pool. Markley and his marauding crew had permission to pool-hop, of course; they even invited their host to play in the band, closing the circle on a truly authentic... read more

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