Recorded April 4 and 5, 1973; released 1974.
Produced by Manfred Eicher
Ron Wynn said it so well when reviewing Towner’s Works, “A great, great guitarist whose songs at worst are overly sentimental, at best hypnotic” and it’s important that Wynn started that sentence with “Great, great,” because even when Towner is being sentimental, he completes his intentions and captures his subject, encapsulating an often fleeting or moving subject like a painter, a memory or a moment, and even in the more forgettable moments on this set, brush strokes mix the memories of music’s past with Towner’s own experiences and expressions.
For an album that features one artist using only acoustic guitars, piano and gong, this definitely has its moments. As much as this seems to come out of his work with the group Oregon, a close listen reveals some clear differences. It’s not only more personal, this reveals different influences. At times, this recalls Weather Report at their most reflective, but here Towner strips the body down to bone and ghost.
— winch (author of )
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Paul Winter Consort
Producer: George Martin
Winter continues his move away from jazz with this set, sticking to a unigue folk sound and helping to lay down some firm foundations for what would become the genre called world music. While most of the Consort had already formed Oregon by this time, Winter fortunately managed to retain them for this outing. In fact, the Oregon members provide most of the material for this album, and fans of Oregon will want to check out this set. This isn’t perhaps as spontaneous or adventurous as much of Oregon’s material, but this was likely Winter’s finest offering.
While I never considered Oregon as a band influenced by the Beatles, the George Martin production and the heavy use of Eastern instruments on this set perhaps helps point out a very creative extension of the Fab Four’s work. This certainly offered the hippies and Beatles’ fans a much needed alternative to the post-Beatles singer/songwriter craze. This set has some weaker moments, but mostly it’s quite enjoyable, and fans of Ralph Towner will certainly enjoy his contributions.
The band included Paul Winter (sax), David Darling (cello), Paul McCandless (horns), Ralph Towner (guitars, keyboards), Herb Bushler (bass), Collin Walcott (percussion). Guests included Billy Cobham and Milt Holland on percussion.
— winch (author of…http://www.eight-track.com/Eight_Track_Publishing.php