Seattle-based Origin Records is one of the more diverse independent labels out there. Fresh and vibrant, they never fail to release something worth listening to and talking about, satisfying both red and blue state palates.
Warm toned Chad McCullogh/tp and evocative Bram Waijters/p-key lead a subtle quartet with Piet Verbist/b and John Bishop/dr through a collection of quiet and lyrical originals. There’s a bit of agitation and drive on material like “Glorious Traffic Jam,” but for the most part you get sophisticated melodies gently laid out as on “Mr. Rubato,” “Winter’s Lament” and “Billions.” The team is simpatico, and lets the candles burn all the way to the holder for this glowing session.
TheH2 Big Band boasts of some big names from Los Angeles such as Andy Martin/tb, Ron Stout/tp, gary Foster/as, Larry Koonse/g, Bob McChesney/tb and Chuck Berghofer/bs. Best of all, Joe LaBarbera handles the drums and no one drives a big band better. The brass and reed sections are spectacular, swinging on the bouncy “Hocus Po cus” and delivering an eerie take of “You Go To My Head” with Foster’s alto shining through the night. The team sizzles on the New Orleans-ed groove during “B in C” while vocalist Renee’ Marie takes ownership of “The Look of Love” and “Autobiography” with Dave Hansen’s piano. Everyone gets a chance to solo,and you’ll want to take a field trip to LA to find these guys around the local clubs. Toe tapping heaven.
Guitarist Soctt Hesse taps into his inner Jim Hall on this trio date with Clark Sommers/b and Makaya McCraven/dr. themood is gentle and subdued, with even the tune called “Hendrix” a quiet avalanche. There’s some chugging rhythms on “In The Air Again,” but the emphasis is on McCraven’s sophisticated and stylish brushes and cymbal work serving as a gentle nudge for Hesse’s cool toned guitar on “Laws of Motian” and “Sage.” As impressionistic as a walk through Monet’s garden.