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  • Ana
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Customer Reviews

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on June 28, 2001
Many of Ralph's albums tend to seem like 2 or 3 fragments of albums sort of jammed together incongruously (e.g., City of Eyes, Open Letter, Lost and Found). There also seems to be an awkward tension in those recordings between the melodic and careflly-crafted songs, and the more experimental, improvisatory pieces. This recording has neither of these distracting characteristics.
This is a solid set of some of Ralph's most melodic compositions, performed beautifully on the classical guitar, followed by a small, interesting set of more improvisatory pieces performed on 12-string. The fact that it is all solo guitar narrows the gap between the composed and the improvised.
This record makes an interesting contrast to his earlier "Solo Concert", where the roles of the 2 types of guitar sounds are reversed.
Fortunately, we are free to own all of Ralph's wonderful recordings if we choose. But if we were only allowed to own a few, this one should certainly be among them.
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on October 26, 1999
Ralph Towner is a wonderful jazz composer, which cannot be said for many guitar players. This album is all solo acoustic guitar. The first piece Reluctant Bride is oone of the best compositions I have heard. It beautifully evokes a wedding in a Spanish villa, you can just imagine the reluctant bride sitting in an inner courtyard, her white gown against a spanish sky, the grey stone, pensive...I cant really describe it it is so much better described by RT. The other compositions are also beautifully done. I am a longtime RT fan and this is one of his most interesting recordings. WOrds cannot describe it. If you like Oregon's early albums, like Winter Light and DIstant Hills, you will love this. If you just like great quality guitar and composition, you will love this. It doesnt have the ECM sound that some of the seventies and early eighties RT albums have, its its own thing. Its not even clearly jazz, as was true with Oregon for the most part. nothing trite about it,which is a big problem with solo acoustic work these days. and the compositions are more interesting than the recent gary peacock duet album.
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on December 30, 1999
Having been a long time fan of Ralph Towner I was looking for something new to listen to. Having seen him both with Oregon and with John Abercrombie, I was looking for something that would not sit on the shelf. Also, being a guitar player myself for a good part of the past 20 years, I know good playing and composition when I hear it. I like Blue Sun and Lost and Found, but Ana is by far my favorite Towner CD. I listened to this cd probably 3 times in a row the night I got it. Included is some of the best 12 string guitar I have ever heard, and I listen to lots of guitar music. You won't be disappointed if you are already a fan, and if you aren't already, this record could win you over.
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on January 12, 2002
If you are looking for some emotional acoustic guitar music that is original and fresh I doubt you could find a better CD then this.
It is clear to me Mr Towner spent a long time composing these great works as you will note there was a significant period of time between this release and the one prior. Towner's stunning chord viocings and melodic phrases translate into a deeply emotional statement. It is clear he must have done some real soul searching for such an emotional output, I can only imagine the trials and tribulations of his life that have inspired these works.
The chords and progressions are fresh and modern and the music is never obtrusive, but soothing and relaxing. His effective use of space and time stirs one's imagination.
If you are hesitating to buy this CD, you are missing out.
I must give this recording my absolute highest recommendation along with the following CDs by Mr Towner: Solo Concert, Open Letter, and A Closer View.
Thank you Mr Towner for such an intense piece of beauty and artistry, may you always be remembered for your creativity, originality, and emotional offerings. BRAVO!
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on October 10, 2006
As a rule I absolutely adore ralph towners guitar playing and have done so for 30 years. The first 7 or 8 songs are gorgeous and some of the nicest guitar work I have heard but after that the music goes into what I could only define as 'experimental mode. I was totally disappointed with the second half of the album. I own about a dozen other towner albums and will continue to buy his music as his work is too good to miss. I've played guitar for almost 40 years and understand the need for musicians to push the boundaries a little in an effort to remain fresh but as listener some of the music is not pleasing to the ear
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on September 24, 2000
I wish I loved this record. I've been a Towner fan for more than 20 years; I adore his most intimate recordings, such as the mind-blowing "Solo Concert" and the sublime "Diary." There are some wonderful compositions on this record, such as the exquisitely moody "The Reluctant Bride." Normally, Heaven on Earth is Towner and a guitar -- why is this disc less than the sum of its parts? Perhaps because a couple of the tunes (such as "Bride" and "Saverio's Tune") have recorded more movingly elsewhere (especially on the great, difficult-to-find Towner soundtrack import "Un Altra Vita"); there's an odd coldness to the music here, though it's technically brilliant and full of interesting ideas. I may come around, though I've tried several times to get into this record, for a couple of years now. For now, I have to admit, "Ana" is one of my least favorite of Towner's albums.
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on September 3, 2012
Ralph Towner is one of my favorite musicians. If you're a Towner fan this is a no brainer purchase. Green and Golden is one of his best, in fact, one of anyone's best, touching, wistful and flowing. Everything else is good, too.
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on May 24, 2016
Ralph Towner is an exceptional musician!
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on September 11, 2014
Fabulous album.
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