OA2 Records Reviews

Markus Rutz - Blueprints - Figure One: Frameworks
by Chris Spector, Midwest Record

A Chicago trumpet set from a hard blowing cat with an old soul that shows his appreciation for what has come before in the way of jazz and mentorship. He's a mainstream cat that knows how to bob and weave as well, chalk this up as a great listening set that elevates everything around it. An when he blows up a great run of notes...don't get me started. Well... read more

Shelly Rudolph - The Way We Love
by Jörg Schmitt, Sonic Soul (Germany)

Time for rest. And prudent listening to music. Time for Shelly Rudolph. Decelerated, tender and brimming with emotion. Shelly even with a clear voice - sometimes firmly stowed, sometimes suspended - almost to itan all-star ensemble (cellist David Darling, plus Tom Grant, Darrell Grant, David Goldblatt or David K. Mathews on the grand piano, plus Dave Captein on bass and saxophonist Devin Phillips), led by guitarist Chance Hayden, who as a... read more

Debbie Poryes - Loving Hank
by Don Lerman, Cadence

Pianist Debbie Poryes and her trio present a well-played acoustic set on "Loving Hank", her fourth album as a leader. Poryes is a California native who spent some years performing and teaching jazz piano in Europe
before returning to the west coast to resume her performing and teaching activities. Her composition "Our Star" is one of six originals, an appealing and interesting jazz melody in the medium swing mode, with fine
solos by Poryes and... read more

Edgar Steinitz - Roots Unknown
by Chris Spector, Midwest Record

It's Jewish jazz, but is it? Drawing on the various modes from the various Jewish divisions, it's all cooked up into an interesting brew where even tunes from "Fiddler on the Roof" take on a new take and are more interesting than ethnic Broadway diversions. Not klez, this is a percolating set that jumps with the joy of living and could do more for the middle east than all the diplomacy combined. Wild... read more

Bob Ravenscroft & Inner Journeys - Phantasmagoria
by Chris Spector, Midwest Record

A little prog, a little seventh galaxy, a little church basement, Ravenscroft and his gang mixmaster a load of influences that have influenced them along the way, put it in their own mixmaster and take off for the outer reaches that players have been reaching for since George Russell first blasted off. Space heads rejoice--it's done right... read more

Jay Lawrence - Thermal Strut
by Scott Yanow, All Music Guide

Although drummer Jay Lawrence is the leader of this trio date and bassist Lynn Seaton is excellent in support, Thermal Strut is a success primarily due to the playing of pianist Tamir Hendelman. A major pianist based in Los Angeles who works with the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, Hendelman is brilliant throughout the modern mainstream set, whether romping on "Topsy" and "Opus De Funk," or sounding impressionistic on "Almost Summer" and... read more

Kronomorfic - Entangled
by Chris Spector, Midwest Record

Big band space jazz. See how you can subgenre anything you want? Great sounds for contemplating either your navel or the universe, these are sounds that put the tea in the tea... read more

Michael Kocour - Wherever You Go, There You Are
by George Fendel, Jazz Society of Oregon

You probably haven't agonized over this, but solo piano recordings nowadays are nearly as rare as the Mariners in the playoffs. So not only was I surprised to see such an item, I took a look at the tune list and said, "Wow." Michael Kocour is not a rookie in the jazz biz. He's originally from Chicago, where he spent years working with no less a bop icon than James Moody. For the last ten years he's been director of jazz studies at Arizona State... read more

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