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Time Line

Ralph Towner , Harold Arlen , George Gershwin Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

Price: $18.50 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 16 Songs, 2006 $11.49  
Audio CD, 2006 $18.50  

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.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. The Pendant 4:11$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Oleander Etude 1:59$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Always By Your Side 2:52$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. The Hollows 3:23$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Anniversary Song 1:53$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. If 4:38$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Five Glimpses: I 1:01$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Five Glimpses: II0:47$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Five Glimpses: III0:50$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen10. Five Glimpses: IV0:49$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen11. Five Glimpses: V0:25$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen12. The Lizards Of Eraclea 2:38$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen13. Turning Of The Leaves 3:45$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen14. Come Rain Or Come Shine 4:14$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen15. Freeze Frame 4:54$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen16. My Man's Gone Now 5:27$1.29  Buy MP3 

Amazon's Ralph Towner Store


Image of album by Ralph Towner


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Chiaroscuro introduces a new duo and a rare instrumental combination – trumpet and acoustic guitar. The repertoire: a program of old and new Ralph Towner compositions and duo improvisations, plus an old Miles Davis favorite, its presence a key to the musical priorities at work here.

The album was recorded in October 2008 in Udine, but the story of the Towner/Fresu alliance really ... Read more in Amazon's Ralph Towner Store

Visit Amazon's Ralph Towner Store
for 32 albums, 5 photos, discussions, and more.

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Frequently Bought Together

Time Line + Anthem + Open Letter
Price for all three: $48.17

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  • Anthem $11.88
  • Open Letter $17.79

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Product Details

  • Composer: Harold Arlen, George Gershwin
  • Audio CD (May 2, 2006)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Ecm Records
  • ASIN: B000E8NPRS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #202,457 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

About the Artist

Classical and 12-string guitarist Ralph Towner is one of the architects of the ECM sound, and he was a founding member of the 1970s group Oregon. For his 21st release on the label---his fifth in the solo format---Towner recorded in St. Gerold's Church, a monastery in the Austrian Alps, which accounts for the introspective character of this project. Save for his Bill Evans-influenced renditions of the standards "Come Rain or Come Shine" and "My Man's Gone Now," the compositions are all written by Towner, from the contrapuntal "Oleander Etude" to the free-form "Five Glimpses" and "Always by Your Side," a ballad written for a production of Shakespeare's The Tempest. He may not swing like Joe Pass, but the syncopated meditation that aurally illuminates this effort makes Towner a musical master to be listened to, and reckoned with. --Eugene Holley, Jr.

Product Description

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mysterious evolution July 2, 2006
By Scott68
Format:Audio CD
I can hear sound his slowly changing, I also hear more atonality then before. I can hear him stretching for a new sound on this recording, I can tell he must have been searching for something new and he found it.

His use of augmented and suspended intervals continue to give that mysterious floating sound, a style I fell in love with (as did Debussy, Bill Evans and Paul Bley). I consider this the most modern of all music - classical mixed with jazz, counterpoint with improv.

I think of Mr Towner as the epitomy of the ecm sound the same way Paul Bley is on piano, they have perfected this wonderfully modern and impressionistic sound and refined it into a enigmatic mystery, an enigma wrapped inside of a riddle much the way the heart is when it finds love, undefinable but somehow undenliably beautiful and irresistably alluring with desire and passion.

This recording is equal to any he has ever done, I rank this among his finest along with Ana, Open Letter, Diary, and Solo Concert. I seem to prefer this to Anthem.

What we have here is a real full blown composer - artist who keeps on growing and never compromises in any way. Did you know he has a degree in composition? Hey Ralph keep on growing, and will continue to listen.

The only thing missing here is a band, in which case you want to start buying Oregon recordings instead of his solo work.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing is missing June 17, 2006
Format:Audio CD
To me, this is the best of the solo guitar sets by Towner since "Solo Concert". To my ears, he hits a cool balance of improvisational fluency, attention to form and flow and the one-man-trio feel he attributes to Bill Evans. Really beautiful, with a live, spacious sound accurately capturing the resonant hall in which it was recorded.

He doesn't seem to age, except in the best sense. The material is distinct, fresh and recognizably what I have come to love in Towner's music. Buy it.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great music, but beware the reverb of doom September 8, 2006
By Bernard
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is the latest masterful work of colour and complexity from one of THE greatest guitarist/composers of our time, and probably any other time. Time Line is the third straight solo guitar album from Ralph Towner (the Oregon album, etc. notwithstanding), and his great talents have not diminished one iota. He is an outstanding composer, and an amazing guitarist. Both these gifts are on full display here in this highly creative and deeply accomplished work.

His compositions on this album are in turn sweet and lilting, reflective, melodic, dissonant, and sometimes spicy. They are always interesting, sometimes fantastic. There are some great tunes here, and some seriously great guitar craft; great enough to add interest even on those few less-appealing explorations.

What's new? Well, the now regular improvised short pieces are this time played on the nylon-strung guitar, unlike other recent recordings where they were done on the 12-string. Of course, the compositions on this album are new as well. (There are two standards also.) How does he write so much great music?! Mind you, some of these pieces may only be of interest to guitar aficionados, or those interested in angular, more abstract modern music - but then, there are a few of us aren't there!?

Despite such a big upside, there is a small downside. Also new are the setting and the engineer, and this turns out to be a disappointing factor for me. While some have enjoyed the sound and even praised the album's overall vibe, at times the recording to me feels quite distant and cold. Despite the guitar being the centre of attention, the anticipated warmth and intimacy of the instrument is missing. This is acoustic guitar we're talking about!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars + 1/2 stars...Wonderful Album by a Gifted Guitarist December 29, 2006
Format:Audio CD
This is Ralph Towner's 21st ECM album (not counting his albums with Oregon) and his first since 2000's ANTHEM. Towner, who was 65 when this was recorded, is a technical master of the classical and 12-string guitars. But don't let the mastery of his instrument lead you to think these are strictly clinical exercises in form and style. These twelve--mostly original--tracks are both warm and personal. This is partly due to the venue: The entire album was recorded in an Austrian monestary.

At the ECM website, Towner says, "It was a very different experience from my studio recordings. I'm playing without headphones and projecting the music into this very large space, very conscious of the natural reverberation of the church, and working with that, as part of the total sound."

The two non-originals on the album are standards closely associated with Bill Evans: Harold Arlen's "Come Rain or Come Shine" and George Gershwin's "My Man's Gone Now," the latter featuring Towner's impeccable 12-sting playing. "Freeze Frame" is the only other song that features 12-string guitar.

The accompanying 16-page booklet is woefully lacking in any detailed information on the recording--one page of tracklisting snd song length, and another page of production credits. The rest consists of photos--some of Towner, others similar to the cover shot. It would have been nice to include the personal anecdotes of each song that can be found at the ECM website. [For example, Towner makes this observation of "Oleander Etude": "In Sicily, where I lived for several years, they plant flowers along the highway, and oleander is particularly plentiful there. So when you're driving, you have all these beautiful flowers whizzing by you, all these flashes of colour.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars SUBLIME
After scanning some of the other comments I have to say give me a break! He can play what he likes how he likes. He's given the world years of amazing music--have you?
Published on June 26, 2010 by OLD GUY.
4.0 out of 5 stars A great recording, & worth buying the sheet music
I have been playing guitar for most of my life, and Ralph is one of my long-standing influences, so I have most of his catalogue on vinyl or CD. Read more
Published on July 1, 2009 by J. Shea
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Solo Performance You'll Hear
Playing and writing on the highest level. Ralph Towner's musicianship is beyond what most people ever attain , if that means composing and playing creative, challenging, timeless,... Read more
Published on March 18, 2009 by William D. Paul
5.0 out of 5 stars Space and Time
Easy enough to contend with, to differ with, to agree with alot of what's been said here regarding this Magisterial piece of work. Read more
Published on April 28, 2007 by Patrick Mccormack
5.0 out of 5 stars Ravishing
I enjoy this CD even more than Ana or Anthem, two other great Towner recordings. From striking guitaristic pyrotechnics ("Oleander Etude", "The Hollows") to enigmatic musical... Read more
Published on January 24, 2007 by Anthony D. Della Ratta
5.0 out of 5 stars Ralph Towner is the Keith Jarrett of the guitar
I see Ralph Towner as the most creative and original musician the guitar has expressed since, .. I don't know... Read more
Published on November 27, 2006 by Jazzcat
2.0 out of 5 stars What Was Ralph Thinking?
This album is poorly recorded. Many people have praised this album's audio quality, but I am here to set the record straight: it's awful. Read more
Published on October 20, 2006 by Transfigured Knight
4.0 out of 5 stars something is missing
This CD got raving reviews both musically and sonically in the German Stereoplay maganzine. It is nice I agree but you have heard this stuff before and R Towner has made better... Read more
Published on June 14, 2006 by Lovblad
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