Paul McCandless: All the Mornings Bring

John Kelman By

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Paul McCandless—All the Mornings BringPaul McCandless
All the Mornings Bring

Today's Rediscovery comes from Oregon's reed and woodwind multi-instrumentalist, Paul McCandless: All the Mornings Bring, his 1979 leader debut.

When Oregon was signed to Elektra in 1978 for Out of the Woods, it afforded the two members of the group who did not already have recording arrangements with Germany's ECM Records to release solo albums. And so, while guitarist/pianist Ralph Towner and percussionist/sitarist Collin Walcott released albums like Solstice (ECM, 1976) and Cloud Dance (ECM, 1976), McCandless put together the core trio that would record four songs and more than half of All the Mornings Bring's running time—pianist Art Lande (no stranger to ECM fans for albums like 1974's Red Lanta, with Jan Garbarek) and mallet multi-instrumentalist Dave Samuels.

The same trio would release the more egalitarian Skylight on ECM two years later, but this is where it happened first, an album of all-McCandless compositions; and the 10-minute opener, "St. Philomene," was more than evidence enough of the trio's chemistry and ability to navigate challenging compositions while, at the same time, investing fresh spontaneity and improvisational élan...no doubt what enticed ECM's Manfred Eicher to recruit the trio soon after.

Two additional tracks feature McCandless in duo with Samuels (the ethereal "Slumber Song") and on his own (the aptly titled bass clarinet feature "Song for One")' while another three are heavily scored pieces for wind octet, double bassist Eddie Gomez and, on two, Samuels.

With Towner writing the lion's share of the music for Oregon, All the Mornings Bring was a much more extensive and expansive window into McCandless' personal musical world—both what he brought to Oregon and what he was capable of when left completely to his own designs. McCandless would go on to record two successful albums for Windham Hill a decade later but, like fellow Oregon band mate (and the other to receive an opportunity to go solo on Elektra) Glen Moore, his discography as a leader has remained relatively small. Windham Hill's Heresay ((1988) and even more accessible Premonition (1992) would both prove to be fine recordings as well, but All the Mornings Bring trumps them both, if even only by a hair, for its more overtly adventurous spirit.

A fine record issued (finally) on CD for the first time Stateside by Wounded Bird in 2010, All the Mornings Bring is impeccably written and performed, and beautifully produced. Everything that makes an album well worth rediscovering.

So, what are your thoughts? Do you know this record, and if so, how do you feel about it?

[Note: You can read the genesis of this Rediscovery column here .]

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