Press

“One thing we tend to forget, squabbling over discographies, is how sexy this brand of early jazz can be.  It’s easy to assume that Jelly Roll Morton, Sidney Bechet et al can’t speak to a younger generation, but the pianist Andrew Oliver’s quartet lays that notion to rest.” – The Sunday Times (reviewing the Dime Notes’ debut album)

“Though it has been a few years since Andrew Oliver relocated from Portland to London, the local scene owes more than it knows to the Oregon-bred pianist. In addition to founding the Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble, Oliver led a multitude of projects that brought jazz in Portland to new venues and audiences. Since migrating across the pond, he is focused more tightly than before on early jazz, a passion he explored with Portland’s Bridgetown Sextet. On this release from London quartet the Dime Notes, Oliver mines the earliest days of the music’s existence in New Orleans, digging up tasteful tunes by masters like Jelly Roll Morton and W.C. Handy and placing them in all-new but classic-sounding arrangements.  Oliver adds one of his own compositions to the book as well; it is a twisting melody called “Otis Stomp,” inspired by the town of Otis, Oregon. Holding down the sizzling groove is the bass-guitar team of Tom Wheatley and Dave Kelbie, who handle their traditional roles with grace. Indeed, it is the easy-going interplay between slapped bass and chugging rhythm guitar that make the Dime Notes’ music feel far more alive than the museum piece it could have become. – Jazz Society of Oregon Jazzscene Magazine (reviewing the Dime Notes’ debut album)

“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 (reviewing the Bridgetown Sextet’s debut album)

“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.” – All About Jazz (**** review of “New Cities” by the Kora Band)

“[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 (reviewing “Cascades” by the Kora Band)

“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 The Ocular Concern’s”Sister Cities”)

“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 (reviewing “Alive” by Tunnel Six)

“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. 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 (reviewing an Andrew Oliver Sextet performance)

“[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 (reviewing a Sam Howard Band performance)

Advertisements