OA2 Records Reviews

Florian Hoefner - Falling Up
by Chris Spector, Midwest Record

A right on set of modern piano jazz is on tap here by this German born cat and his New York pals. Playing with the kind of effortlessness that makes everyone think that he can do it just as easily and just as well, itís the sign of a real master when he leaves them in his dust and doesnít make a big deal out of it. You can bet Hoefner would leave a big cloud and a lot of silence in his wake. Tasty, dazzling stuff that hits all the right... read more

Phil Parisot - Lingo
by Chris Spector, Midwest Record

Another in a series of talented jazzbo drummers that know how to lead from the back of the stage, this is a zesty romp that shows where slamming the skins for 20 years can take you if you've been playing attention. Smart forward thinking sounds that also respect the varied past, Parisot delivers an atmospheric date that's anything but background music. Snappy and swinging throughout, this is real meat you can sink your jazzbo teeth... read more

Michael Kocour - Wherever You Go, There You Are
by Jack Bowers, All About Jazz

4-STARS Wherever You Go, There You Are is akin to visiting pianist Michael Kocour's living room or den for an hour or so and lingering while he entertains you with his singular takes on a number of favorite songs, most of which you've probably heard before but seldom played as well as this. Kocour's lyrical style has a way of drawing one's ear into its orbit, causing time to hurry by as he strolls easily through a series of eight... read more

Sara Leib - Secret Love
by Brent Black, Critical Jazz.com

For Sara Leib jazz is musical passion, the epicenter of musical expression for an artist to let go and fully become one with their work. The highly anticipated sophomore release on OA2 records by Sara Leib embraces this concept to its fullest. Leib is a multi-faceted mezzo soprano that takes an eclectic mix of classic and contemporary sounds and gives each tune a fresh and distinctive face lift with some less than straight ahead arrangements... read more

Liam Sillery Quintet - Minor Changes
by Paul Oberlin, Jazz Review

This is Liam Sillery's debut album, a tribute to his mentors who include Red Rodney and Joe Henderson. Sillery plays trumpet and flugelhorn and has been active in New York for some time. He also attended the University of Florida and the Manhattan School of Music. The supporting musicians include David Sills (tenor sax), Jesse Stacken (piano), Thomas Morgan (bass), and Richard Huntley (drums). I have not heard Sillery's name or any of his... read more

Electric Squeezebox Orchestra - Cheap Rent
by Chris Spector, Midwest Record

Damn that economy of scale. It took a Kickstarter campaign to get this record into existence. How are they going to afford to leave their confines of Frisco and go on the road when there's a jillion players in this big band and all of them are required to add their own special sauce? Listeners in North Beach don't know how good they have it that they can just saunter down to the local watering hole once a week and revel in this contemporary... read more

Idit Shner - 9 Short Stories
by Chris Spector, Midwest Record

A crew of improv cats that have known each other since burning the midnight oil at North Texas as students, this is a fully realized date of sharp, angular sax led playing that's short on skronk and long on soul. For ears that like it firmly left leaning, this date has all the thrills and spills a forward thinker would demand in their listening. Solid... read more

Debbie Poryes | Bruce Williamson - Two and Fro
by Kyle O'Brien, Jazz Society of Oregon

Jazz has either gotten quieter or louder, depending on the new releases you hear, no matter the genre. Younger musicians seem to be gravitating towards more instruments, more textures and louder volumes. Seasoned musicians have often opted to pare down their groups, experimenting with duos, trios and solo albums. This disc falls into the latter category, but it manages to remain interesting. Pianist Poryes and saxophonist/flutist/clarinetist... read more

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