135

Ralph Towner: Anthem

C. Andrew Hovan By

Sign in to view read count
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 The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren CD/LP/Track Review The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 16, 2017
Read Any Other Way CD/LP/Track Review Any Other Way
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 16, 2017
Read The Chase CD/LP/Track Review The Chase
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 16, 2017
Read Paint CD/LP/Track Review Paint
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 16, 2017
Read A Pouting Grimace CD/LP/Track Review A Pouting Grimace
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 15, 2017
Read Witches Stew: A Tribute to Miles Davis CD/LP/Track Review Witches Stew: A Tribute to Miles Davis
by Doug Collette
Published: October 15, 2017
Read "June" CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Cantos Invisíveis" CD/LP/Track Review Cantos Invisíveis
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 11, 2016
Read "Witches Stew: A Tribute to Miles Davis" CD/LP/Track Review Witches Stew: A Tribute to Miles Davis
by Doug Collette
Published: October 15, 2017
Read "This Is The Uplifting Part" CD/LP/Track Review This Is The Uplifting Part
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 22, 2017
Read "Morph" CD/LP/Track Review Morph
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 2, 2017
Read "Live at Ronnie Scott's" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Ronnie Scott's
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 10, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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