Press

“The Kora Band doesn’t really sound like any other group. This is an amazing feat, in a century supersaturated with music of every hue, and a convincing testament to the innovative sound of a jazz band successfully incorporating non-Western traditional instruments.” – 4 Stars, All About Jazz

An inspired third release for The Kora Band, a transatlantic quintet exploring the links between contemporary jazz and traditional West African music.” – 4 Stars, Evening Standard

“If M.C. Escher had led a band, this would be the sound of it. The group weaves in jazz, neo-classical, African dance, tango, pop, twang, blasts of crunch-rock and subtle odd-metered funk.  The Ocular Concern’s music ultimately charms with a melodic and almost innocent sense of wonder.” – Downbeat (**** review of “Sister Cities”)

“Dan Duval (electric guitar) and Andrew Oliver (electric piano) are the composers and linchpins behind this Portland, Oregon-based quintet [The Ocular Concern], who, in a jazz world full of acts trying to stand out and be creative, truly are.” – Somethin’ Else Reviews

The “Sister Cities Suite” is a harmonious synthesis of jazz, Middle-Eastern undertones and progressive rock modalities, snugly wrapped into an interconnected group-centric sound. Duval and Oliver shine as gifted composers, possessing deep insights into various genres and styles.”- Glenn Astarita, All About Jazz

“World jazz” projects frequently come off as gimmicky. Not so with the Kora Band, a group of Portland and Seattle musicians who successfully incorporate West African rhythms and textures into their otherwise mainstream jazz sound.  “Cascades” proceeds in a manner that’s unhurried and consistently inviting.” – Jazziz

“[The Kora Band is] cerebral enough to form complex interplay between the traditional kora sounds and modern piano sounds, but more importantly, being able to fuse the musics into something that is at once modern, thoughtful jazz and innovations upon traditional music” – All Music Guide

“The Bridgetown Sextet’s new album release “Stomp, Defined” is the quintessential representation for the vintage jazz and swing renaissance exploding across the globe. […] What sets The Bridgetown Sextet apart as arguably the most talented vintage hot jazz and swing ensemble in the Pacific Northwest is their ability to not only harness, but intensify the unbridled energy of their musical antecedents.” – Jon Taylor, SwingPortland.com

“[The Bridgetown Sextet] swan dives into the authentic sound of the 1920s, ’30s, and ’40s with a mix of New Orleans jazz, Prohibition-era Chicago, Harlem Stride piano and big-city swing. Led by young Portland jazz lions Andrew Oliver and Scott Kennedy, this band will curl your toes.” ~The Oregonian

“Scott Kennedy and Andrew Oliver are almost punk-rock in their attitude about Traditional Jazz and bringing back it’s visceral nature.” ~Matt Fleeger, Director, KMHD Jazz Radio

“One of [Tunnel Six’s] greatest attributes is the ability to make a sextet sound like a miniature orchestra. Each player has their own sound, a feat in this day and age when there are literally thousands of clones out there.  Oliver, is a unique pianist, devoid of cliches as well. He never seems to play “licks” or the conventional jazz lines that we’ve all heard a million times. All of the playing here is a breath of fresh air.” – Jazz Society of Oregon Jazzscene Magazine, June 2013

“In terms of precision, the festival’s winners were Tunnel Six. The sextet played highly detailed songs with effortless grace. This might have been the best out-and-out jazz at the festival, and the audience was really into it. More bands like this would be a great way to go for this diverse, solidly attended festival in years to come.” – Exclaim.ca, June

“The sextet treated the crowd to a terrific evening of their diverse brand of jazz, mixing a variety of genres from driving rock to swing to world influences. The individual musicianship of each player was artfully highlighted. Bandleader and composer Andrew Oliver directed the band from the piano with delicacy and ease. His clean and rhythmic lines established a base for the others to expand upon. Oliver plays a wide range of styles, linked by restraint and an understanding that less is often more. Instead of excessive fury, he dazzled with moments of subtle, calculated composure.  For those who wonder about the future of jazz, the Oliver Sextet gives a brilliant display of what younger jazz musicians in Portland have to offer.” – KMHD Jazz Notes

“Oliver’s rhythmically vital originals incorporate rock and world-music influences in a decidedly non-superficial way that appeals broadly to jazz and other music fans.” – Willamette Week 

“[The Sam Howard Band] is jazz for young people; a fusion project that frolicked in afrobeat rhythms, bluesy bar-rat solos and some country twang before returning home to a familiar jazz structure, as if they needed to remind you every once in awhile what roots grip the tree. And while Pemberton frequently took center stage, with his distortion pedal and tremolo tinkering, it was Oliver with his sneaky “maybe we should break into some funk” Rhodes lines that really stole the show.” – Melophobe