OA2 Records Reviews



Nelda Swiggett - Blue-Eyed Painted Lady
by Dave Sumner, emusic

Gorgeous jazz-with-strings recording by pianist & vocalist Swiggett, who offers a set of tunes with a warm electricity and a fluidity of motion that just carries the listener along. Along with her standing trio of drummer Byron Vannoy and bassist Chris Symer, Swiggett recruited a cellist and violist from the Seattle Symphony, and that pairing results in some beautiful melodies getting lofted up to a high plateau via the additional harmonic... read more

Juli Wood - Synkka Metsa
by Chris Spector, Midwest Record

With an overview that would make you think this set has an ECM vibe to it, this collection of jazz meeting Finnish folk songs is way more daddio than you might imagine. Inspired by Art Farmer's original expatriot forays, Wood and her pals travel into the dark forest ( that's what the title translates to) (unless you'd rather have her travel into the dark woods--something that matches her tone) for a quasi-impressionistic date that isn't really... read more

Rich Pellegrin - Down
by Nicola Barin, Jazz Convention (Italy)

The strength and inventiveness of pianist and educator Rich Pellegrin's new project are concealed in his music's natural inclination toward melody. The tried and tested quintet moves with agility and cohesion. Seven tracks written by the American pianist testify to the percussive approach to the keyboard and the attention paid to the totality of his quintet: timbre and interplay have more importance than the individual.

Built, as the... read more

Shawn Maxwell - Music in My Mind
by Bobby Reed, Downbeat

EDITOR'S PICK / JUNE 2018 The all-original program on Shawn Maxwell's Music In My Mind conveys the vision of a composer who's confident in his artistic vision, and comfortable with the wide array of colors on his instrumental palette.

Maxwell - who plays alto saxophone, clarinet and flute here - recruited 11 supporting musicians for his ensemble New Tomorrow. And on his eighth album, Maxwell's merger of written passages and improvised... 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

Hans Luchs - Time Never Pauses
by Hrayr Attaria, Chicago Jazz Magazine

With his engaging debut as a leader in Time Never Pauses, Chicago guitarist Hans Luchs offers up an intriguing batch of well-crafted originals and two delightfully reinterpreted standards. Luchs brings his trademark sound of polished elegance and understated, but definite passion to this captivating music.

Opening with the darkly hued "Der Lumenmeister," the band sets an intimate ambience that permeates the entire disc. Trumpeter Shaun... read more

Liam Sillery - Priorite
by Adam Greenberg, All Music Guide

Still exploring his sound with a strong quintet, trumpeter Liam Sillery is a long way off from his days with the California sound of the Acoustic Jazz Quartet. On Priorite, Sillery combines with his stalwart troupe for a solid session of post-bop, no modifications needed. While Sillery himself tends to take the lead solo in most places, flights of fancy that can show both speed and power, there's ample time given to the rest of the... read more

George Cotsirilos - Variations
by Brent Black, CriticalJazz.com

The jazz guitar trio is risky with the end result usually feast or famine with very little middle ground. The George Cotsirilos Trio seemingly owns this format with a warmth and intimacy seldom captured since the Blue Note days of Kenny Burrell. Swing, what is it? How do you know when you are in love? You feel swing, it comes from that sweet spot just past your soul. Bop oriented style guitarists of this ability are a rare breed. Bassist Robb... read more

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