Origin Records Reviews

John McLean - Better Angels
by Paul Abella, Chicago Jazz.com

John McLean's last album, Easy Go, was a personal favorite. So I awaited his latest, Better Angels, with baited breath. While this is a vastly different album than its predecessor, it has its own charms that make it an equally engaging and interesting album.

McLean has chosen some fantastic sidemen for this project, all of whom bring something fantastic to the table. For fans of homegrown jazz, none of these players needs an introduction. Jim... read more

Ray Vega & Thomas Marriott - East-West Trumpet Summit
by Jim Ketch, International Trumpet Guild, January 2011

Ray Vega and Thomas Marriott present a compelling recording, brimming with creative imagination, technical fluency, and a deep respect for the jazz tradition. This album also features fine performances by Travis Shook, Jeff Johnson, and Matt Jorgensen. Shook's soloing is daring and adventuresome, while Johnson and Jorgensen lock down the time and their own solos to the mix with verve and skill. The standards on the CD include "It's You Or No... read more

Doug Beavers Orchestra - Jazz, Baby!
by Jack Bowers, All About Jazz.com

Doug Beavers Rovira isn't the first bandleader to reach out to the "diminutive demographic," but he may be the first to do so without pretense or condescension. In other words, Rovira doesn't play "down" to toddlers and children, he raises them "up" by clothing nearly a dozen nursery rhymes and songs in clever orchestral arrangements that would please even the hippest adult listeners. Blend in charming vocals by Matt Catingub and Linda Harmon... read more

Clark Sommers - Ba(SH)
by Michael Jackson, Downbeat Magazine


The Chicago triumvirate conflates the initials of its members--reedist Geof Bradfield, bassist Clark Sommers and drummer Dana Hall--adding an extra lower case vowel (and parentheses) for onomatopoeic effect. The name represents the trio's chamber aesthetic "sh" and sporadic aggressiveness: "bash." Though it might also suggest the bashfulness of Sommers, who became the effectual leader after writing for the trio and... read more

The H2 Big Band - It Could Happen
by George Fendel, Jazz Society of Oregon

Out of the gate it might be a good idea to explain the name of this outfit. It's simple. Co-led by Denver area trumpet ace Al Hood and pianist Dave Hanson, this is a no-punches pulled gathering of some of the premier studio cats in Los Angeles. Featured are such stars as Gary Foster, alto sax, clarinet and flute; Carl Saunders, trumpet; Andy Martin, trombone; Larry Koonse, guitar; and Joe LaBarbera, drums. Also on board are singer René Marie,... read more

Clipper Anderson - Ballad of the Sad Young Men
by George Fendel, Oregon Jazz Scene

Anyone involved in Seattle's active jazz community knows respected bassist Anderson, a solid contributor for many years. But what about that "other" Clipper Anderson? I'll bet you didn't know about Clipper Anderson, the singer. In an era of "dime-a-dozen" female singers, how often do we encounter a male jazz singer? Not often, and that makes Anderson's debut vocal album all the more a winner. He conveys that "I've been there" feeling... read more

Benjamin Boone | Philip Levine - The Poetry of Jazz, Vol. 2
by Marilyn Castaneda, The Collegian - Fresno State University

When his first volume of "The Poetry of Jazz" released last year, nobody knew it would garner attention across the world with numerous accolades, spurring the release of his second volume this year.

Saxophonist and composer Benjamin Boone, a music theory professor at Fresno State, has had his music performed in 29 countries and is heard on more than 25 recordings.

He recently released "The Poetry of Jazz Volume Two," the second... read more

Bobby Broom - The Way I Play: Live In Chicago
by Alain Drouot, Downbeat, July 2008

Guitarist Bobby Broom is low-key but confident, which is often reflected in his playing. On this selection - culled from a series of live trio dates recorded in his hometown of Chicago - one gets to enjoy his most spirited side as well as a return to jazz standards and other staples. Throughout the session, Broom has a fine sense of pace. While he can deliver some dazzling lines, he also understands the virtue of patience and carefully plans his... read more

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