Michael Oien

Since 2004, when he graduated from Berklee, bassist Michael Oien has been a vital part of New York’s jazz scene. He has appeared on numerous dates as a sideman. He recently recorded his debut album as a leader for Fresh Sound’s New Talent label, the creative and innovative And Now. Michael says that this is his most significant artistic statement. He said, “Writing my own music and recording it in my own band.” Now features Michael Oien using some of his favourite musicians. “In sidemen I look for players who have individual sounds and musicians who focus less on technical aspects of instruments and more on expression in the music.” The CD includes six Michael Oien post-bop originals performed by a quintet, which also features Nick Videen, guitarist Matthew Stevens and Jamie Reynolds, as well as Eric Doob, drummer and pianist. The music includes inventive pieces such as “In The Early Autumn”, “Mad To Live”, “Smile This Mile”, and “Dreamer.” It is both forward-looking, adventurous, and accessible while still being swinging. Michael Oien was raised in Ashland and was born in Silver Spring in Maryland. As a teenager, he played the piano and guitar. As a teenager, he played in several rock bands. However, he started to concentrate more on the bass in middle school when he was playing in the school orchestra. Growing up, I was a huge fan of all things rock and roll, including Ray Charles, The Beach Boys, Chuck Berry, and Chuck Berry. My parents were big fans of jazz, and we had music all the time in our home. “When I was 12 years old, the school orchestra teacher took all of our bass players to Madison, Wisconsin to learn from Richard Davis. It had a huge impact on me.” He studied jazz studies for two years at the University of Minnesota and then transferred to Berklee in Boston. “There was so much going on at Berklee, and I had the chance to play with so many talented musicians.” Michael moved to New York after graduating. He recorded and toured with Michel Reis, a Luxembourg pianist, and also recorded with Yotam Rosenbaum, a drummer (Balance, which also features Vibraphonist Dave Samuels and Vibraphonist Mads Tolling and Pianist Vadim Neselovsky). He also performed with Uri Gurvich, Darius Jones, Christian Scott, Igmar Thomas, trombonist Hal Crook and Bryan Baker as well as pianists Leo Genovese, Roy Assaf and Roy Assaf and Roy Assaf and Roy Assaf. Michael Oien has been primarily a leader in recent times at Matthew Garrison’s ShapeShifter Lab, and at Sycamore in Brooklyn. “I’ve been living in New York for nine year and this is something I have always wanted to do. It allows me to perform original music instead of playing standard songs. Now that the record is completed, I’d love to tour with the group, and then take it from there.” from http://michaeloien.com

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