Vanguard Sessions: Best of the Vanguard Years

Vanguard Sessions: Best of the Vanguard Years

by Oregon
     
 

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When Paul McCandless, Collin Walcott, Ralph Towner, and Glen Moore formed the world/jazz fusion group Oregon in the early '70s, they already had a strong rapport from their work together in the Paul Winter Consort. The ensemble's recording of Towner's "Icarus" could be an anthem for the new age. As Winter

Overview

When Paul McCandless, Collin Walcott, Ralph Towner, and Glen Moore formed the world/jazz fusion group Oregon in the early '70s, they already had a strong rapport from their work together in the Paul Winter Consort. The ensemble's recording of Towner's "Icarus" could be an anthem for the new age. As Winter went on to make melodies with wolves and whales, Oregon signed with Vanguard and pitched tent in the jazz camp. The unique tensions between the warm sounds of Walcott's tabla drum and Moore's bass, the brisk sounds of Towner's 12-string guitar, and the dry sounds of McCandless's oboe are so distinctive that they can be picked out instantly. Able to stretch an improvisational line into the ether, the band's music often seems like it's floating in air, but you can be sure that someone -- usually McCandless -- will throw out a rope at just the right instant and pull the whole piece home. All four musicians play a variety of instruments, and on the freewheeling "Yet to Be" from 1975's IN CONCERT, Towner shows his mastery of piano, French horn, and trumpet, while Moore doubles on the violin. Oregon collaborated on Larry Coryell's hardhitting THE RESTFUL MIND, on which Coryell wails on electric guitar while Towner plays six-string, charging ahead with such speed it seems like Wolcott's tabla might not keep pace. A more melodic selection is "Serenade," a tipsy waltz featuring Towner's romantic guitar and violin by Zbigniew Seifert from the 1978 VIOLIN album. Other featured tracks are taken from WINTER LIGHT (1974), FRIENDS (1977), OUR FIRST RECORD (1970), DISTANT HILLS (1974), TOGETHER (1976), MOON AND MIND (1979), and MUSIC OF ANOTHER PRESENT ERA (1973). Oregon continues to record, but after the death of Walcott in 1984, the group's signature sound changed. These 14 digitally restored tracks will provide the perfect introduction to this seminal ensemble or guide you on a stroll down Oregon's trail of memories.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Alex Henderson
It's a cliché to say that a band is "in a class by itself" or "defies categorization," but in the case of Oregon, those aren't empty clichés -- they're statements of fact. Oregon's style of jazz is quite unique; the band has always been difficult to categorize. You could call the 1970s recordings on The Best of the Vanguard Years fusion, but while Oregon was part of the 1970s fusion explosion, no one would mistake their music for the fusion of Miles Davis, Weather Report, Herbie Hancock, Return to Forever, or the Mahavishnu Orchestra. Oregon's music is calmer and has a certain tranquillity. Its introspective blend of jazz, rock, pop, European classical, folk, and world music (especially Indian ragas) is as recognizable as it is unorthodox. The amazing thing is how organic and natural Oregon's eclecticism sounds; risk-taking classics like "Aurora," "Canyon Song," and "Tide Pool" have held up well over the years and don't sound the least bit pretentious or unnatural. Spanning 1970-1979, this CD illustrates the excellence of Oregon's Vanguard output and is the logical starting point if you're exploring the band's music for the first time.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/31/2000
Label:
Vanguard Imports
UPC:
0090204918225
catalogNumber:
0491822

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Oregon   Primary Artist
Larry Coryell   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Elvin Jones   Drums
Ralph Towner   Guitar,Piano,Trumpet,French Horn,Mellophonium,Hammond Organ,12-string Guitar,Clay Drums
Collin Walcott   Dulcimer,Clarinet,Percussion,Piano,Conga,Drums,Sitar,Tabla,Tamboura,Pakhawaj Drum
Bennie Wallace   Tenor Saxophone
Glen Moore   Bass,Flute,Piano,Violin,Electric Bass,Acoustic Bass
Zbigniew Seifert   Violin
David Earle Johnson   Conga,Timbales
Paul McCandless   Flute,Bass Clarinet,English Horn,Oboe

Technical Credits

Oregon   Producer
Ralph Towner   Composer,Hands
Captain Jeff Zaraya   Engineer
Sam Graham   Liner Notes

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