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EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Oregon: Family Tree

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OregonFamily TreeCam Jazz2012Some things change; some things stay the same. As Oregon celebrates its 42nd year of existence with the release of Family Tree, it also reaches another milestone: its longest period of stability. Of course, the group already trumps any other contemporary jazz group, with three of its four members--guitarist/pianist Ralph Towner, woodwind/reed multi-instrumentalist Paul McCandless and bassist Glen Moore--dating back to Oregon's official start in 1970. Oregon would, in fact, still likely be exactly the same today, were it not for the tragic car accident that killed original percussionist/sitaris Collin ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Oregon: In Stride

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OregonIn StrideCam Jazz2010 With a shared history of 40 years amongst three of its four members--and a fourth now rivaling the group's co-founder, the late Collin Walcott, as percussionist with the longest tenure, it's almost redundant to discuss the inherent chemistry shared amongst the members of the genre-busting Oregon. Woodwind/reed multi-instrumentalist Paul McCandless, guitarist/pianist Ralph Towner and bassist Glen Moore go so far back together--predating Oregon in the Paul Winter Consort , where they appeared on lost gems including Road (A&M, 1970) and Icarus (Epic, 1972)--that there would be something wrong if ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Oregon: 1000 Kilometers

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The challenge facing any longstanding group is retaining its core qualities while remaining contemporary and vital as the years pass. Oregon may well be the longest-running group in jazz today, with three of its four members together since its inception in 1970. Its ability to combine detailed composition with near-telepathic free improvisation can still be heard on 1000 Kilometers, the group's 24th recording, but what's also immediately evident is a group that's by no means standing still.

Had original percussionist/sitarist Colin Walcott not died in a tragic accident in 1984, it's a near certainty that he'd still be playing with ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Oregon in Montreal, February 22, 2007

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Oregon The Spectrum Montreal, Canada February 22, 2007

Ask any artist who has performed there and they'll tell you that Montreal audiences are something special. Nowhere was this more evident than on Thursday, February 22, 2007, when the stylistically genre-busting group Oregon made its first visit to the Canadian jazz mecca in over 15 years. When the 37-year-old group took to the stage at Montreal's The Spectrum, the applause, hoots and hollers were so loud and persistent that it was nearly five minutes before the group was able to ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Oregon: Out of the Woods / Roots in the Sky

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It's dangerous to ascribe new musical paradigms to one artist or group. There's no denying, however, that Oregon was one of the first groups to explore the nexus of jazz, classical and folk musics with ideas endemic to the music of India, Brazil and other cultures abroad. Although Oregon's entire discography has been available on CD at different times, a number of titles are currently out of print. Out of the Woods / Roots in the Sky is a welcome remastered reissue of the group's first two discs for Elektra, originally released in 1978 and 1979.

Signing with Elektra after ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Oregon: Out of the Woods

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This album can be judged by its cover, an illustration by David Wilcox depicting an idealized old-growth forest. Scattered amongst the too-perfect trees and well-pruned shrubs are various oversized acoustic instruments sharing a well-manicured lawn with a gray squirrel, a curious raccoon, a startled owl and a pileated woodpecker. It's all pleasant greens bordering warm shades of brown and yellow. Well-placed, softly-shaped boulders invite you to sit and relax. The owl and the raccoon stare back at you, as if in anticipation of your next move. It's a place you want to be, and Oregon's music takes you there.

Oregon ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Oregon: Prime

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Given most marriages don't last 35 years, the fact that three of perennially genre-busting group Oregon's four founding members have remained together so long--and there's little doubt that if Colin Walcott had not tragically died in a car accident in '84, he'd still be around too--is truly remarkable. Sure, there are a few old warhorse rock and roll bands like the Rolling Stones who've been around longer. But given the mercurial and significantly less-recompensable nature of jazz, guitarist/pianist Ralph Towner, woodwind multi-instrumentalist Paul McCandless, and bassist Glen Moore's ability to continue to evolve and find new things to say makes ...

HIGHLY OPINIONATED

Oregon: The Art Of The Musical Canvas

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It is very rare indeed for the art of the brush on canvas and fingers on musical instruments to inhabit the same time, space and composition. But when it does a lifetime of magical experiences are born and stay with you forever. To do this the artists must make a myriad metaphysical leaps and transmigrations! A twist of fate that must make mind, body and soul dance with the re-invention of pure joy. To do this requires re-locating the landscape of music to a canvas in the musician's mind and the listener's ear. There is no group of artists who ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Oregon: Oregon In Moscow

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What Miles Davis and Gil Evans did with “Sketches of Spain” is what Oregon accomplishes by adding a carefully arranged, full orchestra to their performance. The two-disc set features lead arias from English horn, oboe, guitar, piano, bass, djembe, bass clarinet and soprano saxophone. Composers Ralph Towner, Paul McCandless and Glen Moore provided the music for this recording, which was made in Moscow over six days in June 1999.

A groundbreaking ensemble that links jazz with world music and New Age textures, Oregon has released 21 albums during its 30-year tenure. After attending the University of Oregon, Towner and Moore ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Oregon w/ Moscow Tchaikovsky Symphony Orch.: Oregon In Moscow

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Over the past 30 years the quartet Oregon have set the standard for acoustic chamber music that straddles the lines between jazz, New Age and classical. The members have all collaborated with orchestras on several occasions, dating back to the group’s original incubator, the Paul Winter Consort. Their compositions and personal approaches to improvisation tend to mesh nicely with the regimentation of large groups. This 2-disc set is perhaps the best documentation yet of how flexible the Oregon aesthetic can be.

Most of the tracks are beautiful, well-crafted pieces that echo the best of 20th century classical music. Hints of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Oregon: Best of the Vanguard Years

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Best of the Vanguard Years is a compilation CD from the innovative group Oregon; a band that was based in the state of the same name, featuring the collaborative efforts of Paul McCandless, Ralph Towner, Glen Moore, and Collin Walcott. A historically important group, the founding members of Oregon combined their classical backgrounds with jazz improvisations and an eclectic mix of world rhythms and exotic instrumentation. They may have been single handedly responsible for putting new age and world music on the map. Recorded examples of their unique sound and style can be traced back to the late 1960's- at ...



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