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Oregon in Moscow


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Audio CD, September 12, 2000
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Editorial Reviews

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A suitably ambitious memento of the group's 30-year association, Oregon in Moscow is not a concert recording but a far-reaching exploration of the ensemble's substantial orchestral influences. Recorded over six days in the company of the Moscow Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra, the two-disc project (covering more than 90 minutes) highlights the venerable group's attentiveness toward tone, dynamics, and phrasing as much as its facility for transcending genres and rhythms. Producer Steve Rodby seated the quartet (founding members Ralph Towner, Paul McCandless, and Glen Moore, plus new, fresh-faced percussionist Mark Walker) face-to-face in the same studio (Moscow's State Recording House GDRZ) during the overdub-free recording, a move that imbues the CD with a rewarding collaborative spark. On several occasions, Rodby mentions in the liner notes that orchestra members responded to Oregon's group improvisations with shouts and stomping feet. The recorded outcome is often serious-minded and somewhat less lyrical than, say, Northwest Passage, the disc that preceded this project by more than two years. Abstract at times ("Arianna") and liberating at others ("Zephyr," "Icarus"), Oregon in Moscow seems to invigorate every artist involved, and McCandless seems especially adventurous in the orchestral setting. It serves as a fitting, challenging reminder that beyond jazz, world rhythms, and categories not yet defined, classical stimuli are another fundamental element in Oregon's free-range musical amalgam. --Terry Wood

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Round Robin 6:36$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Beneath An Evening Sky 5:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Acis And Galatea 7:54$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. The Templars 8:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Anthem 5:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. All The Mornings Bring 6:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Along The Way 3:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Arianna 2:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Icarus 3:40$0.99  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Waterwheel 8:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Spanish Stairs 5:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Free-Form Piece for Orchestra & Improvisors 8:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Spirits Of Another Sort 2:32$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Firebat10:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Zephyr 6:13$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 12, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Intuition
  • ASIN: B00004UF5T
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #211,045 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
89%
4 star
6%
3 star
6%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 18 customer reviews
I hope this recording makes lots of money, so we can see this band in the U.S. again.
Jamie Conrad
Best of all, the lucidity and flash of all that technique doesn't stand alone, but infuses the music with a searching expression and beautiful sense of style.
JENNIFER SPERRY
The classical setting further enhances the rich harmonies and colorful textures Oregon has displayed in their music for so many years.
Robin Feld

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By F. Simon on November 11, 2000
Format: Audio CD
The new Oregon release, Oregon In Moscow, is as beautiful and profound an album as I have ever heard, and certainly one of Oregon's best. The group (Ralph Towner - guitar and piano, Paul McCandless - woodwinds, Glen Moore - bass, and Mark Walker - drums and percussion) and producer Steve Rodby have created a monumental work of art.
A two CD set recorded by Rich Breen with the Moscow Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra, this is a stunning achievement from every standpoint: composition, orchestration, performance, improvisation, production, and recording. Even the packaging is stellar. The two chief composers, Ralph Towner and Paul McCandless, wrote their own orchestrations and the results are sublime, by turns achingly gorgeous and stirring. Programming varies widely, including Oregon with orchestra, alone as a quartet, guitar and woodwind duo, and solo bass. And there's a perfect balance between older familiar material and new compositions.
In a way, this may be the quintessential Oregon album, despite the fact that it's their first album with orchestra, because all the orchestral implications of Oregon's music through the years have now been fully realized here, and brilliantly so.
I strongly urge anyone interested in intelligent, moving, beautiful, and artistic music to get this album and bathe in it.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Silberman on September 15, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Oregon has always played music that is nourished by a global range of influences -- from swinging jazz, to free improvisation, to chamber music, to classical Indian ragas -- while remaining intensely personal, reflective, focused and profound. For their 25th album, the quartet teams up with the Moscow Tschaikovsky Symphony for ambitious reworkings of "classic" Oregon tunes (like Icarus), songs that deserved more notice on their original release (Waterwheel, Zephyr, All the Mornings Bring), and some new work (The Templars, Anthem, Round Robin). The result is magnificent -- a fine introduction to the band's music for those who don't know it, and a crowning achievement for longtime fans who always wondered what Towner would sound like given a roomful of musicians to play his unearthly beautiful melodies. The version of Waterwheel (formerly released on the regrettably underappreciated Towner/Gomez/DeJohnette album "Batik") here is astonishing -- listen for the moment when the orchestra's surging voices subside, leaving only Towner and his guitar. McCandless's All the Mornings Bring (originally released on an LP of that title) is breathtaking, as is his moving Spirits of Another Sort (composed for a production of "Midsummer Night's Dream"). Even the oft-played Icarus is given new life here, sounding triumphant and definitive. On the downside, "Firebat," a new Moore tune, sounds overwrought, and Towner should give "Beneath an Evening Sky" a rest. But all in all, this is a superb album.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By JENNIFER SPERRY on March 11, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I applaud Oregon for sustaining its superb artistry even as it undergoes a format change. Most non-classical groups sound like muzak when they position themselves in front of an orchestra; Oregon simply finds a new dimension.
As a professional oboist, I have always found Paul McCandless' work an inspiration. An outside-of-the-box musician with speechlike communicative abilities on all the instruments he plays, he never sacrifices beauty of tone or technical hyper-virtuosity. McCandless is the only jazz star I have heard who would flatten virtually any competition had he chosen the classical field. Best of all, the lucidity and flash of all that technique doesn't stand alone, but infuses the music with a searching expression and beautiful sense of style.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Winokur on February 8, 2001
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Prior to this album, Oregon had already revealed themselves as disciplined musicians -- virtuoso players of their own, truly original compositions. Their genre is difficult to classify -- some have called it "chamber jazz", or "jazz that (usually) doesn't swing" or simply "new music" -- with 'roots influences' especially prominent in their early releases. Now, these extraordinary musicians have carefully and complexly orchestrated their compositions, creating rich lines for orchestra as fascinating and captivating as their solos. The medium this time is truly different. And the music shines none the less, with no compromise!
Someone listening to this album before knowing Oregon might think of it as a modern concerto or, in parts, as an exceptional film score. But as in their prior work, for me the strongest content is in the original, rock-solid compositions, which stand up to fine orchestration every bit as well -- albeit differently -- as to the small ensemble setting in which these guys usually play.
The reviews here are notable not only for articulate descriptions of this group's music, but also for reminiscences of 1st encountering Oregon. My initial (and favorite) exposure was to "Out of the Woods" in the late 70s (just before the companion album, "Roots in the Sky"), when the late Colin Walcott was still 'out front' with his sitar and tabla. When I saw the album cover painting depicting a deeply colored forest with interspersed wood instruments coming 'out of the woods,' I thought, knowing nothing of Oregon, 'if the music sounds how this cover looks, it will be sublime!' (Usually an unreliable way to choose music, but I was searching...) The music was a perfect match.
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