135

Ralph Towner: Anthem

C. Andrew Hovan By

Sign in to view read count
Ralph Towner: Anthem Now in his 61st year, guitarist and composer Ralph Towner can look back on the great tapestry that has made up his musical life over the preceding decades. For the past 30 years he's been associated with ECM Records, a distinction that has allowed him to express his own muse in a way that many artists would simply find enviable. He's been a vital member of the group Oregon and has worked with a large stable of singular artists including Keith Jarrett, Kenny Wheeler, Egberto Gismonti, John Abercrombie, and Gary Burton. Then there's Towner's own idiosyncratic catalog, ripe with moments of improvisational brilliance.

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: 1. Solitary Woman 2. Anthem 3. Haunted 4. The Lutemaker 5. Simone 6. Gloria's Step 7-10. Four Comets 11. Raffish 12. Very Late 13. The Prowler 14-16. Three Comments 17. Goodbye, Pork Pie Hat

Personnel: Ralph Towner: classical and 12-string guitars

Title: Anthem | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: ECM Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Open Book CD/LP/Track Review Open Book
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Stolen Moments CD/LP/Track Review Stolen Moments
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Sonder CD/LP/Track Review Sonder
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Putting Off Death CD/LP/Track Review Putting Off Death
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends CD/LP/Track Review Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 16, 2017
Read Heaven On Their Minds CD/LP/Track Review Heaven On Their Minds
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: August 16, 2017
Read "Nine Dances Of Patrick O’Gonogon" CD/LP/Track Review Nine Dances Of Patrick O’Gonogon
by Duncan Heining
Published: November 25, 2016
Read "14.11.2016" CD/LP/Track Review 14.11.2016
by Nicola Negri
Published: April 25, 2017
Read "The Chicago Plan" CD/LP/Track Review The Chicago Plan
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 16, 2017
Read "Imaginist" CD/LP/Track Review Imaginist
by Mike Jacobs
Published: December 1, 2016
Read "Karoujite" CD/LP/Track Review Karoujite
by John Eyles
Published: June 21, 2017
Read "O Horizonte" CD/LP/Track Review O Horizonte
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: December 8, 2016

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.