OA2 Records Reviews

Ben Markley - Basic Economy
by Paul Rauch, All About Jazz

4-STARS Pianist/composer Ben Markley has enough jazz pedigree to draw interest from jazz fans on an international level. After all, he has performed with such notables as Brian Lynch, Terell Stafford, and Eddie Henderson. His work on the jazz scene in Denver is well regarded, as is his work as Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, not what one would call a hotbed of jazz music.

It was Markley's most recent... read more

Steve Williams & Jazz Nation - Jazz Nation
by Ric Bang, JazzScan

Composer, arranger and saxophonist Steve Williams is another of the many individuals who is famous within the music world, but relatively unknown outside it. He's a graduate of the University of North Texas -- formally North Texas State University, an institution that has produced a number of great jazz musicians -- and Florida State University; during his 35 years as a freelance musician, he has worked with, and done arrangement for, numerous... read more

Daniel Barry - Walk All Ways
by Bill Barton, CODA Jan / Feb 2008

Well-known in the Seattle area, Barry is a man of many talents. He is the musical director of the Seattle Womens Jazz Orchestra and has also contributed charts to The Jazz Police big band (Origin 82395 is an all-Berry program) and The Jim Cutler Jazz Orchestra. Four self-released CDs of his music are available (http://www.barrymusic.com/index.htm). His publishing company (http://www.marinamusic.com/) produces combo and big band jazz charts,... read more

Seattle Womens Jazz Orchestra - Dreamcatcher
by Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz

According to the Seattle Women's Jazz Orchestra web site:

The Seattle Women's Jazz Orchestra was formed to nurture the musical, educational and artistic growth of individual musicians, to encourage women to become involved in jazz performance/composition as a career or avocation, and to foster community interest in and appreciation of jazz as an art form.
It's a mission statement, I suppose, a little wordy, with admirable intentions; and if... read more

Ben Markley - Second Introduction
by John Barron, All About Jazz

Denver-based pianist Ben Markley, winner of the 2007 ASCAP Young Jazz Composers Award, is a well-studied musician whose achievements thus far demonstrate a willingness to stand apart from the multitude of talented young artists graduating from music colleges across the country.

Second Introduction is Markley's second recording as a leader with rhythm section pals Evan Gregor (bass) and Jordan Perlson (drums). Added to the front-line of the... read more

Vince Norman / Joe McCarthy Big Band - Words Cannot Express
by Jack Bowers, Cadence, Oct-Dec 2007

The Vince Norman / Joe McCarthy Big Band bears more than a passing resemblance in a number of ways to the Taylor / Fidyk Big Band. First, it is also from the DC area; second, it is co-led by a splendid drummer (McCarthy) and resourceful arranger (Norman); and third, its sidemen were recruited by and large from the area's armed services bands(I counted four each from the Airmen of Note and Army Jazz Ambassadors, three from the Navy Commodores).... read more

Nelda Swiggett - Blue-Eyed Painted Lady
by C. Michael Bailey, All About Jazz

Pianist Nelda Swiggett follows her confident and successful This Time (OA2 Records, 2010) with an expansion of her original piano trio into a piano-string quintet, minus the violin plus a drummer. This expanded format suits Swiggett's orchestral compositional leanings well and provides an intriguing and successful combining of nightclub jazz and concert stage classical. This is no more "Third Stream" than it is pure classical or jazz.... read more

Nelda Swiggett - This Time
by Adam Greenberg, All Music Guide

For her first trio recording, pianist Nelda Swiggett goes all out, using her own compositions as a base for cerebral explorations on the keys. Over an extraordinarily steady backing from Chris Symer's bass (and to a slightly less audible degree Byron Vannoy's drums), Swiggett alternately develops sparse themes into stocky grooves and tinkles little blues hybrids into Bill Evans-style balladry (as in the excellent "Heart of the Moment"). On... read more

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