Origin Records Reviews

John Wojciechowski - Focus
by Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune

The kids who study music at St. Charles North High School may not realize how fortunate they are. For their teacher/bandleader happens to be one of Chicago's more commanding saxophonists, an artist who surely could build a full-time international career performing, if he so chose.

When I first heard John Wojciechowski, at the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition in Washington in 1996, I was sure he would take the top... read more

Hadley Caliman - Straight Ahead
by Ken Dryden, All Music Guide

Hadley Caliman has had a long, distinguished career as a sideman, appearing on albums by Gerald Wilson, Bobby Hutcherson, Hampton Hawes, and Joe Henderson, among others, though he has had relatively sporadic opportunities to record as a leader.

His second CD for Origin indicates he may have found a regular outlet for his music, backed by the young trumpeter Thomas Marriott (who also records as a leader for the label and appeared on Caliman's... read more

Doug Lofstrom - Concertino: The Music Of Doug Lofstrom
by Daniel Coombs, Audiophile Audition

**** (4-stars)
Composer and bassist Doug Lofstrom has been composing prolifically since the 1970s. His diverse scores reflect his ongoing involvement in theater, dance, film and symphonic music. In the 1990s, he was composer-in-residence for the Metropolis Symphony Orchestra and during the 80s, musical director of Chicago?s Free Street Theatre. His works have been performed by the St. Louis, Atlanta and Oregon Symphony Orchestras, and... read more

Lower Monumental - Mayday Session
by Stephen Latessa, All About Jazz

When I was living at home, there were certain types of music that would cause my mother to knock on my bedroom door as she walked past and ask, "what are you listening to?" in a tone that seemed to wonder whether she had a reason to be worried. The Mayday Session is that type of music. It isn't particularly loud or jarring, but there are enough kinks and corners with who-knows-what on the other side of them to make the whole project vaguely... read more

Marcos Varela - San Ygnacio
by Valery Amador, Bass Musician Magazine

New York City is a long way from tiny San Ygnacio, Texas - not only measured in miles (around 2,000, for the record) but also in temperament. Born and raised in Houston, bassist Marcos Varela nonetheless traces his roots back to the historic Texas town where his family has lived on the same ranch since at least the 1750s. Based in New York for the last 12 years, Varela takes stock of how far he's come on his leader debut, San Ygnacio, due to... read more

Piet Verbist Zygomatik - Cattitude
by Georges Tonla Briquet, Jazzmozaiek (Belgium)

The strongest release in the series is however from our own Piet Verbist and his band ZYGOMATIK. Together with Herman Pardon (drs), Bram Weijters (frh, Wurlitzer), Jeroen Van Herzeele (ts, ss) and Vincent Brijs (bs), Piet presents with "Cattitude" an hour of strong jazz that emanates from all directions. The versatility and wealth are both in the compositions and in the skills of the musicians. The music switches effortless from pure New York... read more

Ted Brancato - The Next Step
by Robbie Gerson, Audiophile Audition

Growing up in Seattle (an under-appreciated jazz city), Ted Brancato became a regular performer with musicians passing through the Emerald City. This included Milt Jackson, Eddie Jefferson, Ernie Watts and Ernestine Anderson. An inevitable relocation to New York (sparked by collaboration with vocalist Gene McDaniels) helped to establish Brancato as an arranger, composer, accompanist and performer. He has recorded with a variety of jazz artists... read more

Roxy Coss - Restless Idealism
by RBS Productions, Amazon

Five IMPRESSIVE Stars. Roxy Coss is a potent, facile young jazz tenor and soprano saxophonist who has twice made the vaunted Downbeat International Critics Poll in 2014-15 as a "rising star." After reading the raves over her sophomore release "Restless Idealism", I bought it and after listening several times I must heartily agree. She has great chops on both saxes: a fluid, fleet-fingered tenor sax and a soprano sax style, a fertile... read more

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