Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

18

Michael Oien: And Now

Budd Kopman By

Sign in to view read count
Having been part of the New York scene since graduating from Berklee in 2004, bassist/composer/arranger Michael Oien has obviously taken his time in making his first record.

But it was worth the wait, because And Now is destined to be on many "Best Of Lists" for 2015.

Leading a smoking and very tight quintet consisting of Matthew Stevens on guitars, alto saxophonist Nick Vadeen, pianist Jamie Reynolds and Eric Doob on drums, Oien impresses with the gift of memorable melodies (even hooks!), driving rhythms and architectural arrangements.

The first thing to notice, especially through headphones, is that Oien and Doob play as a single unit. Oien is a very strong bassist, whose lines pulsate with electricity, and Doob anticipates everything he does, providing an extremely stable bottom over which the band can feel unconstrained. The lock-in between them is palpable.

From its first notes, the opening track of "In The Early Autumn" creates a huge visual space with golden fields waving in the afternoon sun; this could be an ECM track if not for the more or less overt references to Americana.

The energy rises from there, as first "Skol" and then "Mad To Live" bristle and strut. The latter track has an added horn, allowing the theme to be become a wall of sound in three-part harmony.

Lowering the temperature a bit, "Ask Anyone" and "Smile This Mile" allow Reynolds, and especially Vadeen, whose alto sounds many times like a soprano, to fly.

Both tracks demonstrate Oien's ability to melodies that are constructed in such a way as to be easily remembered, but having enough twists, turns and arranging to keep the discriminating listener's attention. "Smile" will most definitely get airplay.

"Dreamers I-III," which flow together, feel autobiographical somehow, with the ebb and flow within each extended to be among them all. Finally, "All My Trials," with Oien harmonizing with himself while soloing, closes the circle.

And Now is a tantalizing mix of the extroverted and the personal; it is music to be felt, and which will raise the spirits of anyone who listens.

Fresh Sound? You bet. New Talent? Most definitely!

Track Listing: In The Early Autumn; Skol; Mad To Live; Ask Anyone; Smile This Mile; Dreamer, Part I; Dreamer, Part II; Dreamer, Part III; All My Trials.

Personnel: Michael Oien: bass; Matthew Stevens: accoustic & electric guitars; Nick Videen: alto sax; Jamie Reynolds: piano; Eric Doob: drums. Travis Laplante: tenor sax, track #3). .

Title: And Now | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Fresh Sound New Talent

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

CD/LP/Track Review
Take Five With...
Read more articles
And Now

And Now

Fresh Sound New Talent
2015

buy

Related Articles

Read World Gardens CD/LP/Track Review
World Gardens
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 14, 2018
Read Henry II CD/LP/Track Review
Henry II
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 14, 2018
Read Conference Of The Mat/ts CD/LP/Track Review
Conference Of The Mat/ts
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 14, 2018
Read Hidden Treasures Vol. 1, Monday Nights CD/LP/Track Review
Hidden Treasures Vol. 1, Monday Nights
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 14, 2018
Read Âme Sèche CD/LP/Track Review
Âme Sèche
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 14, 2018
Read Fred Hersch Trio '97 @ The Village Vanguard CD/LP/Track Review
Fred Hersch Trio '97 @ The Village Vanguard
by Doug Collette
Published: December 13, 2018
Read "Higher" CD/LP/Track Review Higher
by Jim Trageser
Published: August 16, 2018
Read "We Out Here" CD/LP/Track Review We Out Here
by Chris May
Published: February 24, 2018
Read "Nightconcert" CD/LP/Track Review Nightconcert
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: July 13, 2018
Read "The Heart Already Knows" CD/LP/Track Review The Heart Already Knows
by Jerome Wilson
Published: September 27, 2018
Read "Dodecahedron" CD/LP/Track Review Dodecahedron
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 21, 2018
Read "Obsidian" CD/LP/Track Review Obsidian
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 3, 2018