Ralph Towner: Anthem
Only his third solo recital for ECM (the others being 1973's Diary and 1996's Ana ), Anthem contains all the earmarks of Towner's flair for melding composition with spontaneous improvisation. Among the several more lengthy pieces we find two suites featuring short vignettes- "Four Comets" and "Three Comments." With a nod towards the jazz legacy, there's Scott LaFaro's "Gloria's Step" and Mingus' "Goodbye, Pork-Pie Hat." Utilizing both classical and 12-string guitars, a perfect forum for the latter and a highpoint of the album comes via the bluesy "Raffish." Reflective and calm, "Very Late" reminds one of the reasons why Towner seems to win over even those folks who claim to have an aversion to solo discs of any kind. Magical and precious, Anthem is a keeper.
Track Listing: Solitary Woman, Anthem, Haunted, The Lutemaker, Simone, Gloria's Step, Four Comets, Raffish, Very Late, The Prowler, Three Comments, Goodbye, Pork-Pie Hat.
Personnel: Ralph Towner: classical & 12-string guitars.
Record Label: ECM Records