Finally a new CD from Oregon: I have been listening to this group for ever. Practically the soundtrack to my life (alas not always appreciated by family members).
Anyway, excellent CD. The unmistakable Oregon sound composed of Ralph Towner, Paul McCandles, Glen Moore, and Mark Walker, is always familiar but ever new. Like fine wine. A grand example of Jazz music, yet also steeped in eclectic influences.
My favorite track so far is the title cut, “Family Tree”. “Moot”, written by Glen Moore is another. Glen really shines on this CD. “Carnival Express” is so exciting and surprising. Well, all of it is good.
Read a professional review by John Kelman at ‘all about jazz’ website. As Kelman writes, the sound from this is really amazing. Even from a Samsung Note phone, the sound projects and the instruments well defined.
I can’t believe they have not had a Grammy yet. Yet, others can sing about human anatomical parts and become music moguls.
Eliades Ochoa is a Grammy winning artist who was part of the Buena Vista Social Club.
Eliades Ochoa achieved world wide fame with his involvement in the “Buena Vista Social Club”. He has not slowed down.
If you listen closely to his works you’ll notice that his guitar playing is actually quite fantastic. Yeah, yeah, rock star X can shred your face off … lol!
Hailed as a “Cuban Johnny Cash,” Eliades Ochoa has an earthy sound and rustic style (topped off by his trademark cowboy hat) that is all his own. The Grammy-winning guitarist and singer was born in a rural mountain town, where he picked up his first tres guitar at age 6. He hasn’t stopped playing since. The self-described “Guajiro” (Cuban provincial) offers piquant renditions of son, guararcha, bolero and changuï, resulting in memorable collaborations with Bob Dylan and, most famously, Buena Vista Social Club. In 2006, he released Se Solto un Leon, a reference to his first album, A Lion is Loose. — from http://www.montrealjazzfest.com/artists/artist.aspx?id=7274
1979 recording “All the Mornings Bring” by Paul McCandless is republished. It combined three great musicians, Paul, David Samuals, and Art Lande. It features a unique and vibrant instrumentation with wide range of music.
Finally an LP by Paul McCandless is republished. This 1979 recording was in my opinion a jazz/chamber opus. It combined three great musicians, Paul, David Samuals, and Art Lande, and with it’s unique instrumentation stimulated a deep rare neuronal space of sound.
A quote from the liner notes:
The rather unusual instrumentations on Mornings Bring — reed/mallet/piano trios, and woodwinds octet plus bass and/or mallets — presented McCandless with a challenge well met. Without the traditional foundation of bass and drums, the trio tunes gain shape and texture via the expanded roles of the mallets, piano and reeds, as the functions of melody, harmony and bass are divided and exchanged among the instruments.
— Michael Zipkin
Here is a sample 4 minutes of the first cut which is 10.21 minutes long, “St. Philomene” featuring:
Paul McCandless: Oboe
Art Lande: Piano
David Samuels: Vibraphone, Marimba, Percussion
(Copyright holders: if this is not fair use, let me know.)
I don’t know if it’s great. I like it. Note that Paul no longer plays like that too much, afaik, trills (?) in the upper register, in the group Oregon. An example of the style change Oregon’s work or Shapeshifter. Anyway, that sample was stating the theme and the rest of that piece explores it. That mallets and piano can play so well together is amazing.
It is perfect. The only critique would be that the original liner notes were not included. The notes had a lot of info and more background on the music and artists. For example, the chamber music group was ‘Columbia 30th Street’.
Here is a free idea. If you republish something, include a link to a web accessible (non-siloed) resource that contains the original information.
Nice You Tube post of this classic work, “Icarus” composed by Ralph Towner.
Nice YouTube post of this classic work. No, not the Iron Maiden thing (which I like too, btw). According to this page: ‘Astronauts of Apollo 15 took the Consort’s album ROAD to the moon with them and named two craters after the songs “Ghost Beads” and “Icarus”‘. See also, Oregon.
Well, while I’m at it, here are more renditions ….
Please let me know if any of these should not be posted here.
Icarus – slide guitar version
‘Icarus’ performed by MGT – Wolfgang Muthspiel, Slava Grigoryan & Ralph Towner
Ralph Towner solo. Yup he plays all the instruments on each track
LAGQ Live!: Icarus by Ralph Towner (arr. Kanengiser)
The samba styled version
Paul Seaforth/Jamie Findlay – Icarus acoustic jazz
Ben Garnett quartet
“Icarus” – Pedro Negrescu, Steve Hamilton, & Hristo Yotsov.
Icarus by Ralph Towner (arr. Kanengiser)
live acoustic version performed by Brighter Lights, Thicker Glasses.
Pensuma – Icarus (original by Ralph Towner)
The most definitive version, by Oregon
Is this the one on the “Oregon in Moscow” CD?
Icarus (slightly brighter than Ralph Towner plays it himself)
“icarus” – usc’s carolina alive vocal jazz ensemble.
One of my favorite musicians, Ralph Towner, has finally released, after a period of nine long years, a new collaborative effort. Here he teams up with Paolo Fresu. Superlatives are so overused today that they are treated as fluff words. Yet, its hard not to want to use them to describe this work.
One of my favorite musicians, Ralph Towner, has finally released, after a period of nine long years, a new collaborative effort. Here he teams up with Paolo Fresu.
Superlatives are so overused today that they are treated as fluff words. Yet, its hard not to want to use them to describe this work.
This CD is pretty much perfect. It has a strange fascinating fullness to it. The way Towner plays the guitar, not single notes or strumming, but a rich harmonic that weaves sound and silence. Towner’s playing serves to lead and accompany the superb trumpet work of Fresu, who’s phrasing and diction of the music evokes the feel of vocalist exuding emotion using mechanics of sound not words.
Why doesn’t music like this get Grammys?
In this CD the guitar and trumpet collaboration works great. So great one wonders why it is not used more often. Ralph Towner plays with a rich harmonic sound, and within the “full” playing, one can hear subtle technique and brilliance. In “Zephyr” track 7, listen to the guitar intro, for example, where within the chords one briefly hears another string vibrate or twang giving the sound an intimacy and rawness. Yet, this effect is not repeated or thrown in your face.
My favorite is the title track Chiaroscuro. What a hauntingly simple yet so powerful “song”. But, they are all good. “Sacred Place” track 3 is solo baritone guitar that showcases the Towner sound, but in track 8 “The Sacred Place” (reprise), Fresu takes it to the next level, boldly reaffirming the theme.
Videos of Towner playing with Oregon and others are readily found on YouTube and other places, but they don’t really capture the sound as on a good CD recording such as those found on ECM in particular.
Update: 15 Mar 2010 –
I got the CD. At first I thought it was not up to par with the older Sade work, especially something like “Is it a crime?”. Yet, as I continued to listen to it after a few days, I started to appreciate it for what it is. Now I love the CD. The band pulled through and Sade’s voice and style remains.
Next on my list is brandi carlile’s new release. What a voice she has! Afterward will of course be Ralph Towner’s new CD “Chiaroscuro“.