Oscalypso reviews


"Brimming with gorgeous melodies, lush harmonies and captivating rhythms, Friedlander's beguiling arrangements provide a rich foundation for the group to test its improvisational mettle." Troy Collins, All About Jazz


"Erik Friedlander has always gone beyond just playing a mean cello, he has championed it through his records that puts the instrument in diverse settings to prove that it belongs there. On Oscalypso, he makes the case the same way his hero Oscar Pettiford did. Once again, it’s a strong case." S. Victor Aaron, SomethingElseReviews.com


“Oscalypso is a joyful delight.” Scott Yanow, JazzIZ


Oscalypso (on Friedlander's self-owned Skipstone Records label) is a supremely satisfying album, heaving the precision swing for which Pettiford was renown, spiked with a light twist of dissonance that leans his music forward while fully honoring its modernist flavors.” Stereophile


“Friedlander offers up a collection of smooth, cool jazz works which conjure the vibe of the downtown, underground jazz club, thick with smoke. Very nice indeed.” Christopher Nosnibor, Whisperinandhollerin.com


With every track characterized by rich string textures from Friedlander and Dunn, and succinct soloing by all hands, it’s impossible to pick favorites here, not that there’s any real need for that. Oscalypso is a winner through and through.” Stuart Kremsky, kremsky.blogspot.com


“Friedlander strums chords, unfurls rich arco lines and plucks agile, guitar-like solos with a hint of gypsy jazz twang. There’s also plenty of playful and light-footed interplay with Michael Blake’s saxophone: horn and fiddle trade quick, call and response licks, declaim rich unison lines and even swap traditional roles, with Friedlander soloing while Blake daubs chordal smears, playing two saxes at once à la Rahsaan Roland Kirk. Bassist Trevor Dunn and drummer Michael Sarin provide a limber bounce, rounding out a related small group configuration that allows the natural melodic logic of tunes like “Bohemia After Dark” to shine through.” Mark Mahaney, The Wire


“American cellist Erik Friedlander continues his musical mission to reinstate the name of jazz great Oscar Pettiford to the pantheon… very upbeat and entertaining, and full of warmth; Friedlander’s obvious devotion to his hero truly shines forth…” Ed Pinsent, The Sound Projector


“Jazz coral, precioso, magnético. Joie de vivre.” Quim Casas, Rockdelux

“Choral jazz, precious, magnetic. Joie de vivre.” Quim Casas, Rockdelux


“Piękne spotkanie różnych muzycznych światów i epok.” Rafał Zbrzeski, Lizard Magazine

“Beautiful meeting of different musical worlds and eras.” Rafał Zbrzeski, Lizard Magazine


“Un album originale ed elegante, curato ma non lezioso.” Four Stars - Kathodik Magazine

“An original and elegant album, nice but not cutesy.” Four Stars - Kathodik Magazine


“Friedlander bringt für Pettifords Melodienreichtum zu seinem djangoflinken Picking oder samtigen Bogenstrich den Saxophonisten Michael Blake mit ins Spiel… Blake Melodik ist das Sahnehäubchen für diesen bon Hochachtung und Zuneigung geprägte Pastiche.” Bad Alchemy Issue 88

“The music is sweet and elegant. Friedlander’s django-flop picking or velvety bow adds to Pettiford’s melodic richness... Blake’s melodies are the icing on the cake for this honest and affectionate pastiche.” Bad Alchemy issue 88


“Accompagné ici par un saxophoniste et une section rythmique, Friedlander s’attelle à le faire revivre au travers cet hommage très personnel et intimiste.” Rifraf Magazine

“Accompanied here by a saxophonist and a rhythm section, Friedlander revives Pettiford through this very personal and intimate homage.” Rifraf Magazine


“Op ‘Oscalypso’ heeft hij er negen bij elkaar gezet. Het zijn inderdaad erg mooie nummers. Wat meer is, terwijl Friedlander de sfeer van de de jaren, waarin deze muziek geschreven werd, intact gelaten heeft, heeft hij de nummers ook gemoderniseerd… Friedlander is niet alleen een goed componist, maar blijkt ook een uitstekende arrangeur.” Gonzo Circus

“On "Oscalypso" he puts nine songs together. They are very beautiful songs. What's more, while Friedlander keeps the atmosphere of the years during which this music was written intact, he also modernizes the numbers… Friedlander is not only a good composer, but an excellent arranger.” Gonzo Circus


“...de muzikanten Pettiford echt wilden eren is duidelijk hoorbaar… Misschien is het ideale voorbeeld hiervan ‘Pendulum at Falcon’s Lair’, dat niet alleen erg speels klinkt, maar vooral ook het samenspel van de muzikanten sterk op het voorplan zet. Het album bewijst dat een kruisbestuiving tussen klassiek en jazz bijzondere resultaten kan opleveren, zoals onder meer te horen is op afsluiter ‘Sunrise, Sunset’.” Philippe de Cleen, Da Music

“...the music of Pettiford that Friedlander really wanted to honor is clearly audible… Perhaps the best example of this is ‘Pendulum At Falcon's Lair’, which not only sounds very playful, but also puts the interplay of the musicians strongly to the fore. The album proves that cross-fertilization between classical and jazz can yield results, as can be heard in ‘Sunrise, Sunset’.” Philippe de Cleen, Da Music