Oregon band's new work: Family Tree

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.

Oregon will finally perform on the east coast USA in 2013. Great, I hope I can make it.

Track List
1. Bibo Babo (Ralph Towner)
2. Tern (Ralph Towner)
3. Hexagram (Ralph Towner)
4. Creeper (Ralph Towner)
5. Jurassic (Oregon)
6. Family Tree (Ralph Towner)
7. Stritch (Oregon)
8. Mirror Pond (Ralph Towner)
9. Moot (Glen Moore)
10. Julian (Paul McCandless)
11. Max Alert (Oregon)
12. Carnival Express (Ralph Towner)


Mark Walker Drum Solo with OREGON San Diego

Oregon “Tern” Live in Tubingen 2012

Mark Walker Recording “Carnival Express” with Oregon:

Leonard Cohen's new CD "Old Ideas"

What is there to say? Another masterpiece. The lyrics/poems, vocalists, instruments, CD packaging, and of course LC.

What is there to say? Another masterpiece. The lyrics/poems, vocalists, instrumental accompaniment, CD packaging, and of course LC.


Eliades Ochoa

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


sublime ilusion – Eliades Ochoa


eliades ochoa-mi magdalena-.mpg

Eliades Ochoa, Yiri Yiri Bon


Eliades Ochoa – Volver

Buena Vista Social Club – Chan Chan

Eliades Ochos guitar solo – Buena Vista Social Club

el carretero

All the mornings bring

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.

Further Reading
at Amazon
on Facebook
Google Search
Paul McCandless
David Samuals
Art Lande


Antonio Calogero & Paul McCandless – May or Mai – Classical Guitar & Soprano Sax

Antonio Calogero & Paul McCandless – Untitled – Classical Guitar, Oboe & Soprano Sax

Art Lande and Rubisa Patrol – Rubisa Patrol (1977) Part-1


Antonio Calogero & Paul McCandless – Honduras – Acoustic Guitar & Oboe

Nguyen Lê Quartet feat. Paul McCandless Coesfeld Germany 2

Dave Samuels – Berklee Percussion Festival 2009 – Bemsha Swing

Danza Multietnica Part II-III – Antonio Calogero Ensemble feat. Paul McCandless

Paul McCandless – “Sojourner”

Lyle Mays-Paul McCandless – Turning To You.flv

Jason Argos and Paul McCandless – ‘Round Midnight

Paul McCandless – “Beside a Brook”

Paul McCandless with Art Lande and Will Siegel

Paul McCandless, Last Bloom.flv

Live Mix – Antonio Calogero Ensemble feat. Paul McCandless

Paul McCandless with Art Lande Corkscrew

Andy Summers – Blues for Snake

Paul Winter Consort: Icarus (live)

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.


What the mythical Icarus might have seen? 🙂

Oregon's latest CD: "In Stride"

Wow, after 40 years as a group, yet another CD from the Oregon band.

Read a review by John Kelman here.

at Amazon

” If ” – Oregon (2009) live performance

Performing “1000 Kilometers” live, a piece from an earlier CD:



Doff Note the Frame guitar being played by Towner. It has nylon strings and feeds a MIDI stream (I think).



An Open Door



Keenan Cahill singing "Only Girl In The World"

Keenan Cahill singing “Only Girl In The World”

This is great!

A news story on Keenan Cahill:
The Real Story About My Battle With MPS-VI (WGN Chicago News Story)

Other videos

I’m not into hip hop or whatever its called today, but when a great work is created, like this one “Down On Me” by 50 cent, its great, its Music. Note this is rated “R”, in my opinion.

Probably old news to most. 🙂

Ralph Towner’s CD: "Chiaroscuro"

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.

For a professional level review read John Kelman’s article.
Also see this review: Ralph Towner, Sense and sensitivity by Anil Prasad.

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.


Search on You Tube for R. Towner/P. Fresu collaboration



Ralph Towner’s ” Spirit Lake “. Wonderfully, someone recording Ralph playing this piece. A superb “solo symphony’, in the words of one reviewer. This solo appears on the “Solo Concert [live]” CD.




Gary Peacock and Ralph Towner made two CDs together: “Closer View” and “Oracle.” Both phenomenal examples of bass and guitar collaboration. One work I like, “Gaya”, is not available on youtube.






Ralph Towner 2009 part 1″catching_up”



Ralph Towner 2009 part 1″catching_up”

Here is a video of the Oregon band from 1980 featuring the late Colin Walcott:

Sade – Soldier Of Love – The new album – Worldwide release February 8th 2010

Nice.  Finally after nine years a new Sade CD.  Comes out on Feb 8, 2010.

Sade – Soldier Of Love – The new album – Worldwide release February 8th 2010.

I know I will like it based on the first cut being available on net.  Unmistakable groove with solid drum and bass.  I hope the original band members on playing too.

Already remixed

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“.