Vanguard Sessions: Best of the Vanguard Years

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Carol Wright
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 ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Carol Wright
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.
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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/21/2000
  • Label: Vanguard Records
  • UPC: 015707956024
  • Catalog Number: 79560
  • Sales rank: 109,002

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Tide Pool (8:36)
  2. 2 Grazing Dreams (3:39)
  3. 3 Cry of the Peacock/Coral (6:27)
  4. 4 Aurora (7:50)
  5. 5 Margueritte (4:10)
  6. 6 Canyon Song (5:04)
  7. 7 Improvisation on Robert de Visee's Menuet II (8:18)
  8. 8 Gospel Song (2:31)
  9. 9 Interstate (8:46)
  10. 10 Yet to Be (6:59)
  11. 11 Serenade (2:11)
  12. 12 Charango (4:02)
  13. 13 Dust Devil (3:09)
  14. 14 Sail (4:30)
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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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