Labels > Cam Jazz > Oregon > Family Tree

Oregon

Family Tree

Cam Jazz CJGG005-2

Item: full_album_8052405140753_CD

Artists :
Glen Moore ( Double bass )
Mark Walker ( Drums, Percussion )
Oregon ( Band )
Paul McCandless ( Oboe, Bass Clarinet, Soprano Sax, Flutes )
Ralph Towner ( Classical Guitar, Piano )
Release date
Nov 4, 2016
Duration
1:01:00
Barcode
8052405142306

RE-MASTERED AUDIO and NEW PACKAGING !
This album, originally released in 2012, was re-mastered and repackaged in Digifile cardboard format. It includes the original full-color booklet.


The second youth of Oregon, which coincides with their landing several years ago at CAM Jazz, continues to hold great surprises.  The joy of playing together again, serving music, going into the recording studio with the same intensity of their early work, leaves us wonderfully amazed still to this day.  Family Tree is an album that expresses gratitude and reinforces once again the relationship between Oregon and their endless blanket of fans, the faces and people who have made this long journey one of the most exciting musical experiences in the history of modern jazz.  In Oregon’s own words: “Family Tree is dedicated not only to the immediate families of each of us, but also to the extended family of listeners, producers, technicians, and all that have supplied the encouragement and help that  have kept us thriving.  Our dedication to the expansion and improvement of our music-making is the fruit of this care and the trust placed in us.”


The jazz heard in Family Tree has the colors and the aroma of the Mediterranean, a European flow, which gives life to an emotional journey into the world of Oregon.  Endless facets of tone colors that are exalted at the Bauer Studios in Ludwigsburg, Germany—  one of the few recording rooms chosen by CAM Jazz to give life to a trademark that has made its label synonymous with Made In Italy quality.


More than a half century after the first performance by Oregon, this latest work, Family Tree, reminds us once again that, as in reality, the question of time is completely relative.


Originally released in 2012


Recorded and mixed in Ludwigsburg on 24-28 April 2012 at Bauer Studios Recording & mixing engineer Johannes Wohlleben


Photos by Andrea Boccalini

Reviews

Family Tree

Oregon still plays with fire and still sounds like only one band in the world. That signature blend of sonorities comes from Ralph Towner’s lush nylon-string guitar, Paul McCandless’ keening reeds, and Glen Moore’s fluid bass. The tunes, mostly written by Towner, are bracing little hooks, traced in tight unisons. Improvisations are planned, concise, and contained within ensemble counterpoint. The solos feel like jazz; the arch formal decorum feels like classical music; Walker’s rhythms feel like world-beat.
The musicianship is unimpeachable. Intricate set pieces like “Bibo Babo,” “Julian,” and “Carnival Express” are executed with precision. Oregon has always been ear candy, and Family Tree is wonderfully rich and dynamic and vivid. It was engineered by Johannes Wohlleben at Bauer Studios in Ludwigsburg, Germany, where some of the great early ECM albums were recorded.
Given the band’s longevity and genuine virtues, there is no pleasure in reporting that Oregon does not wear entirely well. They were innovators in blending genres. They may even be where New Age got the idea (not their fault). But after all these years, Oregon’s format can sound pat and the slick arrangements can sound precious. And Paul McCandless, for all his skill, is a problem. His frenetic squealing on soprano saxophone and oboe eventually grates on the nerves. When you’re in the mood for mannered, ornate, sonically alluring music, Oregon is perfect. When you’re not, Oregon sounds prissy.

8/5/2013StereophileThomas Conrad
Oregon Family Tree

Difficile, e forse anche inutile, aspettarsi sostanziali novità da un disco degli Oregon. Dopo quarantatré anni di carriera (un record davvero invidiabile), il gruppo ha ormai un’identità talmente spiccata da essere assolutamente inconfondibile: traguardo che pochi altri gruppi, non solo nel jazz, possono vantarsi di aver raggiunto. “Family Tree” contiene tutto ciò che ci si aspetta da un disco degli Oregon. Innanzi tutto, dal punto di vista timbrico, con la chitarra classica di Towner e l’oboe di McCandless a dare l’impronta. Poi, i temi: quasi tutti a firma di Towner, mescolano influenze classiche, improvvisazione jazz, echi etnici, vigore rock, variando in tutte le gamme tra l’elegia e l’energia, qua e là aggiungendoci persino sperimentazioni elettroniche. Il tutto è convogliato con la perfezione esecutiva, la nitidezza di colori, la scioltezza di arrangiamento che sono la firma distintiva della band.

7/5/2013JazzitSergio Pasquandrea
Family Tree Oregon

All'uscita dell'ennesimo disco degli Oregon (quello precedente era stato In Stride) quello che stupisce di più è non tanto la longevità del gruppo (in attività da più di 40 anni con i tre quarti della formazione attuale) quanto la freschezza e la vitalità che la loro musica ancora esprime. Ad ascoltarla ben difficilmente si riuscirebbe ad attribuire la corretta età anagrafica ai musicisti. Con Family Tree si rinnovano l'incanto e la magia di una musica senza tempo, svincolata da ogni moda o corrente, bella nel profondo della sua essenza, e ricca di emozione, figlia di un equilibrio miracoloso tra gli strumenti stabilito tanti anni fa e mai più abbandonato. Ancora una volta le composizioni di Towner ci vanno dritte al cuore, meravigliandoci per la perfetta fusione di melodia, armonia e ritmo, scrittura e improvvisazione, come solo i grandi artisti riescono a fare.
Ritroviamo i momenti di improvvisazione collettiva, una costante dei loro dischi e dei concerti che testimonia ogni volta di più il profondo legame esistente tra i musicisti, in grado di farli esprimere come un tutto unico. La perfezione degli assoli, grazie alla straordinaria musicalità di Towner e McCandless sempre ricchi di creatività e fantasia, e il lavoro di Moore e Walker, meno in primo piano ma sempre fondamentale, sono gli ingredienti ottimamente dosati di una ricetta che si ripete senza mai stancare o dare la sensazione di esaurirsi.
Chi già è entrato in contatto con l'universo musicale degli Oregon nel corso della loro lunghissima attività professionale sa esattamente cosa lo attende, mentre a tutti gli altri si consiglia di non indugiare ulteriormente a scoprire uno dei gruppi più importanti e significativi della musica dell'ultimo mezzo secolo.

2/4/2013italia.allaboutjazz.comMario Calvitti
Oregon Family Tree

E’ storica la continuità operative degli Oregon, rotta da brevi parentesi sabbatiche nel 1984 (per la scomparsa del percussionista Colin Walcott, sostituito da Trilok Gurtu) e nel 1993 (per la fuoriuscita di Gurtu, rimpiazzato da Mark Walker). I restanti elementi sono da sempre Ralph Towner (chitarra, pianoforte), Paul McCandless (fiati vari) e Glen Moore (contrabbasso). Costituitosi nel 1970, il quartetto ha goduto di un’incredibile promozione dal ’72 in seguito al coinvolgimento di Towner in The Moors dei Weather Report, inclusa nell’album seminale I Sing The Body Electric: quella solitaria, stralunata, sospesa introduzione con la dodici corde ha aperto nuovi squarci espressivi a un genere di musica dai tratti universali, in sintonia con gli echi anticipatori del mitico The Cyrcle Is Complete di Bruce Palmer.
Anche nel recente Family Tree i segnali basilari della diversità e delle innovazioni timbriche e strumentali degli Oregon continuano a possedere un afflato poli-direzionale, rivolto all’intero continente americano, all’area mediterranea, all’Africa e soprattutto all’India. Le stesse improvvisazioni non si rifanno esclusivamente al jazz. Mentre gli edifici sonori, pur adottando gli ampi pedali e i cicli ritmici irregolari del Terzo Mondo (non le usuali dodici, sedici, trentadue misure), sono invece regolarizzati da metodi di scuola accademica. In Family Tree l’etno-jazz da camera del gruppo non inciampa in fastidiose ruffianerie turistiche, proseguendo piuttosto coerentemente la crociata pluri-decennale votata a creare commistioni non inquadrabili da una semplice etichetta. Unico peccato (veniale) del disco, le obsolescenti piegature fusion della conclusiva Carnival Express.

4/2/2013Il Mucchio SelvaggioEnzo Pavoni
Family Tree

Oregon hat auch nach 42 Jahren fast ununterbrochener Bandgeschichte nichts von seiner Kreativität, Spielfreude und Vitalität verloren. Das Quartett, das nur nach dem Unfalltod von Colin Walcott 1984 für kurze Zeit nicht mehr bestand, besticht auch auf der jüngsten Studioproduktion durch Stil-und Instrumentenvielfalt. Ob Jazz, Klassik oder Weltmusik, Begriffe sind Schall und Rauch. Für Oregon allemal. Komposition und Improvisation geben sich die Hände, mal hat das eine die Oberhand, dann das andere. In ihrer nicht selten kammermusikalisch anmutenden Tonkunst fließen immer wieder brüchige Rock-Riffs wie Folk-Floskeln ein und punkgenaue Spieltechniken, und zum Teil minimalistisch in sich swingende Klanglandschaften machen so erneut den ganz typischen, mit kaum einem anderen Künstler oder einer Formation vergleichbaren Sound von Oregon aus. Ralph Towner (72) wandelt auf lyrisch wie klassisch-jazzigen Saitenpfaden (“The hexgram”), das Youngster Mark Walker (51) mit orientalischen Trommelfragmenten verziert. Glenn Moore (70) bedient den Tieftöner wunderbar rhythmisch wie elegant solistisch im modern boppenden “Tern”. Experimentell mit rhapsodischen Einlagen kommt “Jurassic” daher, das Saxer, Klarinettist und Oboist Paul McCandless (65) schaurig anbläst. Und ein kurzer Ausflug in free-jazzig-elektronische Gefilde (“Max alert”) darf ebenso nicht fehlen wie eine längere Reise in Latin gefärbte Klangwelten (“Carnival express”) mit Fusion-Touch und das Balladeske wie im sphärisch wirkenden “Mirror pond”. Die Platte ist eine Weiterentwicklung Oregon’scher Musik und ein Dankeschön für das Vertrauen, das die eigene Familie wie die erweiterte der Zuhörer in die Band setzten.

1/2/2013Jazz PodiumMichael Schaust
OREGON Family Tree

Paul McCandless hat es mal vor Jahren in einem Interview verraten: Es ist vor allem die schier unerschöpfliche kreative Energie von Gitarrist Ralph Towner, die Oregon im fünften Jahrzehnt ihres Bestehens antreibt. Auch auf dem neuen Album “Family Tree” stammen über die Hälfte der zwölf neuen Songs aus seiner Feder, darunter der muntere Latin-Kehraus “Carnival Express” und das energetisch federnde “Tern”, bei dem Towner am Klavier zu hören ist. Doch natürlich sind es das Zusammenspiel und die hohe Individualität der vier Bandmitglieder, die das ungebrochene Publikumsinteresse an Oregon befeuern. So jubilierend wie bei McCandless klingt eine Oboe selten, der knarzende Bass von Glen Moore ist für den widerborstigen Part zuständig und “Küken” Mark Walker – immerhin auch schon 15 Jahre dabei – ist ein wahrer Tausendsassa an herkömmlichem und allerlei exotischem Schlagwerk. In den Bauer Studios in Ludwigsburg, an alter Wirkungsstatte also, wurde das frisch wie selten klingende Spätwerk in gewohnter Transparenz eingefangen.

30/1/2013Jazzthingrt
Oregon Family Tree

Seit ihrem Debut vor über vierzig Jahren hat die Gruppe Oregon fast dreissig Alben abgeliefert, die sich alle nicht wesentlich unterschieden. Stilmittel des Jazz werden bis heute mit Klassik und ethnischer Musik verbunden zu einer Genregrenzen sprengenden Weltmusik. Dieses Genre speist auch das Dutzend Kompositionen des neuen Albums “Family Tree”. Oregons Klangbild ist wieder als eindeutiger Ensemble-Sound identifizierbar. Neben den gewohnten kollektiven Unisonopassagen, die dem Wohlklang frönen, sind es einzelne Stimmen, die hervorstechen. Am markantesten Paul McCandless, der Melodien auf Oboe und Sopransax mit hell aufblitzenden Bildern bläst. Auch auf Flöte und Bassklarinette hat das Urgestein von Oregon einen eigenen Ton. Ralph Towner verbindet versiert spanische Gitarrenmusik mit europäischer Klassik. Fundamente liefern Bassist Glen Moore und Perkussionist Mark Walker, der als Einziger nicht zur Gründungsmannschaft des Quartetts zählt. Er findet sich zwischen ethnischen Rhythmen, Jazz und Rock recht gut zurecht. Die neueste Oregon-Produktion wie gehabt, mit satten Klangfarben und sorgfältigen Arrangements.

8/1/2013Jazz’n’Morerk
Oregon Family Tree

The music begins in a celebratory mood with this latest edition from the legendary Oregon. Still trailblazing, the group that fell between the cracks of jazz and everything else many moons ago is revisiting the Family Tree with 12 varied originals, seven of which come from their putative leader, guitarist/keyboardist Ralph Towner. While its music is always a treat, this release is a mixed bag.
Joining Towner are original co-founders Glen Moore on bass and reed player Paul McCandless along with percussionist Mark Walker, a different-generation player who’s stayed the course longer than any other drummer since original member Collin Walcott died in 1984. All of which makes for one of the best group sounds around. Typically, Towner provides the most memorable music here, beginning with the lively “Bibo Babo” and “Tern”. McCandless’ oboe joins with Towner’s classical guitar to state the “Bibo” theme, that familiar busy yet engaging writing priming the pump for brief solos, the Latin feel of “Bibo” giving way to the jazzier, more elevated “Tern”. Here we get the best hearing of Towner’s magic as this swinging melody carries the day. Walker’s on traps, McCandless switches to soprano sax and Towner at the piano. Moore sneaks in a brief solo before the band takes off. It’s over too soon, the tempo perhaps a bit too brisk, the solos once again too brief, the pace almost obscuring the song’s lovely, distinctive lines. Then the music slows a bit with a series of more reflective tunes, the waltz “The Hexagram” hearkening back to the band’s early days when a more baroque, chamber-like feel permeated the writing. “Creeper” is a bouncier number with Towner at the synths, but the music is still played at, in this case, a relaxed rock gait. McCandless’ bass clarinet here isn’t as busy as is his wont with the lighter horns. The solemn title track is well-played but is without any stirring moments, while the modal swing of “Stritch” suggests something to come but then suddenly ends.

2/1/2013DownbeatJohn Ephland
Oregon: Family Tree

…so ist Oregon nicht nur die beständigste sondern auch die über Jahrzehnte hinweg seriöseste Weltmusikformation.
Das verdeutlicht auch das Album “Family Tree” mit zwölf wunderbaren Kompositionen, die sich erneut aus Quellen jenseits der gängigen Klassik-, Jazz- und Ethno-Schemata speisen. Dabei verfügt Oregon über einen eindeutigen Ensemblesound, der auf- und absteigende Unisonopassagen und füllige Ruhephasen ebenso umfasst wie individuelle Eigenheiten insbesondere in der Tongebung von Paul McCandless, der seine Melodien auf Oboe und Sopransaxofon mit einer eigenen, hellen und höchst beweglichen Charakteristik bläst, die sich modifiziert in seinem Spiel auf Flöte und Bassklarinette findet. Der Percussionist Mark Walker, als einziger kein Stammmitglied aus den 1960ern, bringt ein treibendes, vielschichtiges Element zwischen ethnischen Rhythmen, Jazz und Rock in die komplexen Arrangements, in denen der Bassist Glen Moore für tiefgründige Orientierungspunkte sorgt und Ralph Towner mit akustischer Gitarre, Klavier und Synthesizer Elemente spanischer Gitarrenmusik und europäischer Klassik einbringt. Manche Titel schmeicheln sich wie Popsongs ins Ohr, andere sind etwas sperriger. Sorgfältig arrangiert, klangfarbenreich und groovy sind sie allesamt.

10/12/2012RondoWerner Stiefele
Oregon: Family Tree

Fast ein Dutzend Instrumente beherrschen die vier Mitglieder der seit gut vier Jahrzehnten bestehenden Band um den Gitarristen Ralph Towner. Oregon verbindet Jazz mit Folklore sowie westlicher und indischer Klassik zu kammermusikalischem “World Jazz”. Zu den akustischen Instrumenten kommen heute elektronische Keyboards und E-Gitarre.

5/12/2012KulturSpiegeleditorial
Oregon Family Tree

Diese Band ist eine Institution in Sachen World Music. Seit mehr als vier Jahrzehnten besteht sie nun; tiefgreifende Überraschungen wird man von ihr kaum erwarten. Erstaunlich ist vielmehr, wie frisch und produktiv sie ihrem Stil treu zu bleiben versteht. Vier Multiinstrumentalisten, die von Stück zu Stück das Instrument wechseln, aber immer nur nach Oregon klingen. Das ist mal modern-jazzig gefärbt, mal kammermusikalisch oder kommt als miniaturartiges, kollektiv improvisiertes Klangexperiment daher. Zum Schluss gibt’s eine unbeschwerte Latin-Nummer (“Carnival Express”) – der ideale “Rausschmeißer”.

3/12/2012 STEREO Magazineklm
Oregon, un gustoso mix

Il quartetto Oregon si è riunito nel 1970 ed è tra i più longevi del jazz. Formato in origine da Paul McCandless che suona tutti gli strumenti ad ancia, Ralph Towner chitarra e piano, Glen Moore contrabbasso, Collin Walcott percussioni, Oregon ha preannunciato la world music. Scomparso Walcott in un incidente stradale, ha saputo sostituirlo prima con Trilok Gurtu e ora con Mark Walker, continuando a perfezionare il proprio stile.

22/11/2012il GiornaleFranco Fayenz
Oregon Family Tree

Some things change; some things stay the same. As Oregon celebrates its 42nd year of existence with the release of Family Tree, it also reaches another milestone: its longest period of stability. Of course, the group already trumps any other contemporary jazz group, with three of its four members—guitarist/pianist Ralph Towner, woodwind/reed multi-instrumentalist Paul McCandless and bassist Glen Moore—dating back to Oregon's official start in 1970. Oregon would, in fact, still likely be exactly the same today, were it not for the tragic car accident that killed original percussionist/sitaris Collin Walcott, during a German tour in 1984.
Two other percussionists followed, but it wasn't until 1996 that Oregon recruited Mark Walker. The relatively young drummer/percussionist had already racked some serious accomplishments in the Latin sphere with clarinetist Paquito D'Rivera and trumpeter Arturo Sandoval. More significantly, however, Walker participated on McCandless' third solo album, Premonition (Windham Hill, 1992), and subsequent tour, leading to splitting duties with Arto Tunçboyaciyan on Oregon's Northwest Passage (Intuition, 1996) and proving himself absolutely capable of the kind stylistic and pan-cultural flexibility Oregon's music demands. Since then, Walker has even garnered a Grammy nomination for his "Deep Six," the opener on Oregon's 1000 Kilometers (Cam Jazz, 2007). Now, 16 years after the sessions for Northwest Passage, he's as much a definitive voice in Oregon as the rest of its members.
Returning to Ludwigsburg's Tonstudio Bauer, where the group recorded three albums for ECM in the 1980s—Oregon (1983), Crossing (1985) and Ecotopia (1987)—as well as its most recent In Stride (Cam Jazz, 2010), Family Tree, stands out as Oregon's best-sounding recording, and amongst its most consistently vibrant performances from the get-go, as the sound virtually jumps out of the speakers, from the hand percussion and classical guitar that introduces "Bibo Babo," the first of five new Towner compositions and two reprised lesser-known tunes. "Tern" is a veritable scorcher, taken at a brighter clip than the version on Towner's Japanese-only duo record with pianist Marc Copland, Songs Without End (Jazz City Spirit, 1994), while the mid-tempo "Creeper" features one of McCandless' best moments of the set on bass clarinet, with Walker's firm, snare-driven backbeat resulting in a far more compelling version than on A Closer View (ECM, 1998), Towner's second duo recording with bassist Gary Peacock.
In Stride was Oregon's first record not to include any free improvisation since 49th Parallel (Portrait/CBS, 1989)—a cornerstone of the group's modus operandi since inception. Family Tree's three spontaneously created miniatures—the atmospheric, synth-driven stasis of "Jurassic," the rhythm-centric "Stritch," and jagged, electronic landscape of "Max Alert"—all act as palate-cleansers between its eight composed tracks.
Moore and McCandless contribute one track each- the bassist's lyrical "Moot" a little less idiosyncratic than usual, while McCandless' more change-heavy "Julian" follows, Walker's gentle pulse bolstering restrained yet impressive solos from Towner (on guitar) and McCandless (on oboe). While Towner has always lent Oregon much of its compositional voice, if for no other reason (and there are, in fact, many) than percentages, contributions from others members have always introduced a greater diversity into the mix. Here, perhaps for the first time ever, McCandless and Moore have contributed tracks that, while distinct enough to be recognizable as from their pens, seem to fit somehow more seamlessly within the broader context of Family Tree's hour-long program. The result is one of the group's most cohesive efforts ever. Oregon is undeniably a different beast than it was with Walcott or Gurtu; still, with Family Tree this sixteen year-old incarnation has delivered an album that easily stands up to recordings like Winter Light (Vanguard, 1973) and Out of the Woods (Elektra, 1978), as one of Oregon's very best.

31/10/2012allaboutjazz.comJohn Kelman
NEW YORK @ NIGHT: Oregon @ Birdland

Celebrating 42 years as an ensemble, Oregon’s three original members - guitarist/pianist/principal composer Ralph Towner, multi-reedist Paul McCandless and bassist Glen Moore – hit the Birdland stage with percussionist Mark Walker (Sep. 7th) for a stimulating set of newly recorded songs. Walker’s djembe kick-started “Bibo Babo”, soon joined by singing-string guitar and keening oboe, the circling, Renaissance-style melody establishing a mood of refined exuberance that would prevail for the next hour. The well-honed “If” was enhanced by McCandless’ cool but lively soprano and Towner’s flowing filigrees, followed by the tensely swinging “Tern”, Towner now on piano, Moore soloing convulsively with spidery fingers. McCandless was back on oboe for “The Hexagram”, another modal melody soaring over open-strings guitar timbres, but switched to bass clarinet for “Creeper”, an edgier piece. The band hit its high point on “Aeolus”, Towner’s piano musings building to McCandless’ inspired soprano solo and Walker’s dynamic soliloquy. A free jam ensued, revealing a less ‘Oregon-ized’ side of the band, something darker, less predictable, with Towner triggering a laptop and McCandless coaxing bird-calls from penny whistles and a Norwegian flute. “Carnival Express” closed, McCandless’ high-calorie sopranino trumped by Walker’s head-bobbing samba solo, a stick in one hand, a shaker in the other.

1/10/2012The New York City Jazz RecordTom Greenland