…as conversant as he is with all the jazz idioms going beyond John Coltrane, Jay Thomas improvises with the joyous élan of his vintage progenitors…I’m brought back to the pure jazz feeling of the jam sessions of my youth.
……I Always Knew is a testament, a thesis, a telling tale of a jazz life and the enormous accomplishments it has entailed…..
All About Jazz
….Groenewald’s originals “Mrs. Goodnight,” with its fluid Thomas trumpet solo, and the title tune, “I Always Knew” could well become part of the rarified company they keep here with such established repertoire items as Mel Tormé’s “Born To Be Blue” and Lucky Thompson’s “Deep Passion”.….
…….this set takes it back to the day in spirit and delivers the goods in unequaled fashion. Real jazz for real jazzbo ears!……
…..From its pensive introspection to its spurts of joy, I Always Knew is a lyrical album we’ll be plumbing the depths of for a long time to come….
…..The moods and textures are highly in debt to Gil Evans, with rich harmonies….
Jazz Weekly (
….. This is an excellent recording. Without unnecessary studio gimmickry, a sound mix of reeds and horns combine organically without any muddled tonality. Also, the crystalline piano is in sharp contrast to the mellifluous horns. There is great jazz in the Northwest!…
Audiophile Audition (Robbie Gerson)
The “little big band” of 8-12 pieces provides a nice pallet of tonal colors as exemplified by people like Gil Evans, Gerry Mulligan, Phil Woods, et al. How nice to see that tradition carried forward and updated to the 21st century by Oliver Groenewald whose rich arrangements are played with obvious relish by this outstanding group of musicians.
Jazz Northwest, 88.5 KNXT
Brad Allison: 1st Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Oliver Groenewald: 2nd Trumpet, Flugelhorn and Composer
Dan Marcus: Tenor and Bass Trombone, Bass Flugelhorn
Jay Thomas: Alto, Tenor, Soprano sax. Flute, Trumpet and Flugelhorn
Travis Ranney: Flute, Clarinet, Alto, Tenor Sax
Pete Gallio: Flute, Clarinet, Tenor sax
Greg Sinibaldi: Bari sax, Bass Clarinet
John Hansen: Piano, Keyboard
Michael Glynn, Paul Gabrielson: Bass
Adam Kessler: Drums
Earshot Jazz Festival – The Royal Room Seattle
Orcas Center Orcas Island
Doe Bay Fest Orcas Island
“Woman In The Woods Productions” Orcas Island
The Art of Jazz – Seattle Art Museum
Orcas Island Jazz Festival
Video live recording at the Chapel Performance Space – Good Shepard Center Seattle
Earshot Jazz Festival – Tula’s Seattle