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  • A Closer View
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A Closer View


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Audio CD, June 16, 1998
$51.30 $9.98

Editorial Reviews

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Guitarist Ralph Towner and bassist Gary Peacock are legendary in jazz: Towner for cofounding Oregon and Peacock for playing with everyone from Albert Ayler to Keith Jarrett. A Closer View presents them as a duo performing quietly dynamic, wide-ranging acoustic jazz. Towner's classical guitar strums urge an almost struck tone, with rich crispness that both shines and aches. But Towner also makes his guitar sing, getting milky resonance from single notes and sharp, quick clarity whenever he wants it. Peacock plays his bass broadly, coaxing a bellow on the low end and a dancing lightness on the high end. The 12 songs here are so intimate they almost make one feel voyeuristic for listening. Towner and Peacock play their fast tunes with bewildering precision and grace, and they utilize silent space, as on "Amber Captive," as if silence were the duo's third instrument. Whether playing sublimely slow or at a racing clip, Towner and Peacock play with fat power and oceanic depth. --Andrew Bartlett

Review

In this kind of acoustic environment, Peacock is obliged to use his bass in guitar-like manner, fashioning low-note extensions and counterlines to supplement and contrast Towner’s guitar. -- The Los Angeles Times

1. Opalesque
2. Viewpoint
3. Mingusiana
4. Creeper
5. Infrared
6. From Branch To Branch
7. Postcard To Salta
8. Toledo
9. Amber Captive
10. Moor
11. Beppo
12. A Closer View

Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 16, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Ecm Records
  • ASIN: B000007QF5
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,259,125 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By William Lenihan on September 24, 2004
Format: Audio CD
A Closer View is a good title for this recording because listening to these two masterful musicians play together, one gets the impression that the listener is within extremely close proximity to, or perhaps has fallen into, the intimate world of sounds and emotions created. There is a strange, organic quality to this music of the kind one can only hear from jazz musicians who have played the standards, the post-bop music and who also play freely. In fact, a number of the tunes on this recording were improvisations where Towner or Peacock would start and the other would follow. They are essentially 'free' pieces where they think together, feel together and create simple melodies and harmonies with an unerring sophistication. Both Towner and Peacock have broken ground over the last 30 years but both have remained rooted in the language and emotional field of Bill Evans, Miles Davis and simultaneously, European Modernism. Both play music as though they were painters and story tellers - i.e. they play in the manner of all great jazz musicians.

Nothing is arbitrary and nothing is contrived or stylized though both are virtuosi in the practices of standard jazz music. These truly great artists are rare and we, the listener have this opportunity to hear their music in this quiet and intimate form. Only Keith Jarret in our day, can evoke such worlds of sound and simple beauty. The music in this recording is indeed pure mastery but more than that, it evokes the higher side of humanity.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 18, 1998
Format: Audio CD
The cover of "A Closer View" is a black and white abstraction. The music inside is neither black and white nor abstract. Each piece is a vignette, some emotional, beautiful pieces; others pulsing and singing. This is not strictly intellectual music--it grabs your emotions. Beautifully recorded, it has a feeling of being there with the two virtuosi as they improvise. Love that double bass! Highly recommended for fans of jazz, acoustic and classical music.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 9, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Towner and Peacock are masters of their respective instruments, and discover a truly sumptous array of nuances in entirely acoustic performances on this recording. In each tune, there always seems to be a melodic or harmonic suprise ready to jump out with every other measure. The first track in particular features some striking shifts between brooding wistfulness and sweet lyricism. This recording only seems more wonderful with repeated listening. It's probably the best recording yet by either performer. (Also check out their very successful previous recording called Oracle -- no relation to the database.)
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