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Ava Mendoza, Nels Cline & Ralph Towner

Read "Ava Mendoza, Nels Cline & Ralph Towner" reviewed by Martin Longley

Ava Mendoza & Nels Cline National Sawdust March 27, 2019 Since its old space closed its doors, John Zorn has been spreading The Stone out into other locations, besides its current main home at The New School. One of these alternative platforms is at National Sawdust, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where Zorn programmes a monthly commissioning series, inviting artists to present specially penned works. This guitaring bill opened with a solo set from ...

INTERVIEW

Ralph Towner: The Accidental Guitarist

Read "Ralph Towner: The Accidental Guitarist" reviewed by Mario Calvitti

Ralph Towner is a rather atypical figure in the vast world of jazz guitar. His instruments of choice are the classical guitar, which when he started, in the '60s, was played almost exclusively by guitarists related to Brazilian music like Charlie Byrd, Laurindo Almeida and Bola Sete, and the 12-string guitar, very common in the folk world but virtually unknown to jazz. These choices led Towner to develop his signature instrumental technique without reference to any other guitarist. In doing ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Ralph Towner: My Foolish Heart

Read "My Foolish Heart" reviewed by Nenad Georgievski

There is no lack of poise in guitarist Ralph Towner's music. As the principle writer and guitarist for the band Oregon, a group which since 1970 has blended jazz, world music, and classical elements together, he has garnered a well-deserved reputation as one of the most virtuosic guitar players ever. For years, Towner has been consistently one of the most interesting guitars who captivated guitar fans worldwide with his sublime guitar playing, virtuosic original compositions, and innovative guitar arrangements.

ALBUM REVIEW

Ralph Towner: My Foolish Heart

Read "My Foolish Heart" reviewed by Geno Thackara

Ralph Towner has occasionally said that he considers himself less a musician than a sort of audio novelist. An album or concert might not tell a single strict narrative, exactly, but dynamic flow is central to his compositions as much as his marvelously expressive fretting and plucking. Unsurprisingly from a player so known for picturesque sensibility (though always a delight to hear), My Foolish Heart paints another lovely series of aural images with a rich depth of experience behind it ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Ralph Towner: My Foolish Heart

Read "My Foolish Heart" reviewed by Henning Bolte

If you are lucky enough to experience this guitarist live, the astonishment about the abundance and the richness of colors of his sound on the acoustic instrument should be extraordinary and should let you forget within minutes the bravura of electrified sound. Towner's wealthy guitar playing has something rather complete in itself. For him the solo recording revealed as a primary form of playing to be developed consistently through the years. His first solo album, Diary, dates from 1974 and ...

REDISCOVERY

Ralph Towner Solstice: Sound and Shadows

Read "Ralph Towner Solstice: Sound and Shadows" reviewed by John Kelman

Ralph Towner SolsticeSound and ShadowsECM Records1977 While it took the label a year or so to define its raison d'être, by 1970/71 Germany's ECM Records had already garnered significant attention for its pristine, transparent sound, and for beginning to redefine the possibilities of what improvised music could be. A group that seemed ideal for Manfred Eicher's nascent label was Oregon, the American group that was already pushing every envelope by bringing in elements of Indian, ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Ralph Towner / John Abercrombie: Five Years Later

Read "Five Years Later" reviewed by John Kelman

The long overdue release of Ralph Towner and John Abercrombie's Five Years Later, originally released in 1982, may well be the most eagerly anticipated of the Re:Solutions series that brings into print--on CD (four titles for the first time, Five Years Later previously only available for a limited time in Japan), vinyl and high resolution digital formats--seven historic ECM recordings. Add the three Abercrombie Quartet albums recorded immediately prior to Five Years Later--1979's Arcade, 1980's Abercrombie Quartet and 1981's M, ...


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