Labels > Cam Jazz > Oregon > Lantern

Oregon

Lantern

Cam Jazz CAMJ 7916-5

8052405142801 - Lantern - CD

Artists :
Mark Walker ( Drums, Percussion )
Oregon ( Band )
Paul McCandless ( Oboe, Bass Clarinet, Soprano Sax, Flutes )
Ralph Towner ( Classical Guitar, Piano )
Paolino Dalla Porta ( Double Bass )
Release date
Jun 27, 2017
Duration
62:00

Passionate, airy, poetic, refined, gentle, evocative: this is Lantern, the new valuable gift Oregon and CAM JAZZ are releasing to all those, ever-growing in number, who are keen on their music, and all the lovers of the finest jazz.  This CD features ten original tracks by a quartet that is a wonder of unity, coherence and also expressive freedom: Lantern blends different gems into a new one, a precious plot of moods that take on fantasy and avant-garde nuances (Lantern) or are conventional and playful like lovely dances (Dolomiti Dance), swinging and brisk (Walk The Walk, The Glide), sweetly Latin (Not Forgotten) or, at times, almost poignant (Figurine). Even a disarmingly simple track (The Water Is Wide) turns into a small gem of jazz thanks to the sophisticated solos by Paolino Dalla Porta on double bass and that talented artist, Ralph Towner, on piano (and guitar, of course). Paul McCandless on horns is able to tell stories, conjure up images, arouse responses by means of amazing phrases. Mark Walker on drums succeeds in building up but also de-structuring moods when more dream-like frescoes are painted.  Lantern is Oregon’s thirtieth album, their fifth released on CAM JAZZ, their first with Paolino Dalla Porta on double bass: a confirmation of all the band’s unique, thriving, outstanding creativity, a perpetual, fresh source of music that, once again, proves enchanting.


Recorded in Ludwigsburg on 28, 29, 30 November 2016 at Bauer Studios
Recording engineer Johannes Wohlleben

Photos by Elisa Caldana

Reviews

Oregon Lantern (4 stars)

Oregon’s 30th album since its founding in 1970 is an amalgam of sounds and musical attitudes: It melds earthy tones, sinuous melodies and subtle meters into improvisatory postcards that lure our imaginations from familiar waters into uncharted depths. Cordial co-captains man the helm: Paul McCandless steadfastly plays soprano saxophone and oft-over-looked double-reeds and pipes, while Ralph Towner glides between authoritative classical guitar and piano. They assure Oregon’s chameleonic duality: pleasure craft meets research vessel. Crewmen Mark Walker (drummer since 1996) and Paolino Dalla Porta (suavely replacing founding bassist Glen Moore in 2015) fuse easy resonance with light touch to achieve airy, simpatico ensembles. Oregon’s timeless book (mainly Towner’s ever-catchy tunes) seamlessly blends jazz with world and folk traditions, resulting in a conic imprint that is identifiable yet bracing. Oregon revisits house classics with a kick: “The Glide” swerves breezily with tasty drums and a sweeping coda. Cheerful openers explore complex meters in beguiling ways: “Duende” shifts from 5/4 to 3/4 for solos. On “Dolomiti Dance,” Walker skitters between Brazilian caxixi, Egyptian darbouka and African djembe. Ballad interludes pair keen oboe and warm bass and guitar in a sweet embrace. Dalla Porta’s “Aeolian Tale” refreshes with a flamenco lilt, framed by lovely guitar variations. The Scottish folk song “The Water Is Wide” returns us near home, tempering Americana with a gentle bolero. Good ship Oregon, pushing 50 with a modest patina, shines an honest lantern on jazz.

1/10/2017DownBeatFred Bouchard
Dalla Porta con gli Oregon

Dalla fine degli anni Sessanta il gruppo Oregon ha creato un nuovo modo di intendere il jazz, fra contaminazioni mondiali e una concezione “ecologica” che intende la musica come sintonia universale. Due fondatori, Ralph Towner (chitarra e tastiere) e Paul McCandless (anche semplici e doppie), sono ancora colonne della formazione che oggi firma il proprio 30esimo album, Lantern, riuscito nella sua varietà. Nuovo ma già rodato membro del quartetto è il contrabbassista Paolino Dalla Porta, il cui suono vigoroso e sognante si integra nel gruppo. Non è solo un onore ma un evento epocale: nessun jazzista italiano è mai stato membro di un gruppo così storicamente rilevante.

14/9/2017Il Corriere della SeraClaudio Sessa
Oregon Lantern

Sogar noch weiter zurück reicht die Laufbahn von Oregon. Lantern ist das 30. Album in der 47 Jahre währenden gemeinsamen musikalischen Reise. Es ist die erste Aufnahme mit Kontrabassist Paolino Dalla Porta, der 2015 Gründungsmitglied Glen Moore ersetzt hat (und mit seinen gerade mal 61 Jahren den Altersschnitt um ein paar Jahre senkt). Mit seiner sich bestens einfügenden Komposition “Aeolian Tale” beweist er, dass er die Oregon-DNA bereits verinnerlicht hat. Mit dem neuen Album gelingt der Gruppe das Kunststück, ihrem charakteristischen Klang treu zu bleiben, ohne sich auf den erworbenen Lorbeeren auszuruhen. Alles, was Oregon ausmacht, ist da: Ralph Towners meisterliches Gitarrenspiel und seine unverkennbaren Kompositionen, Paul McCandless’ lyrischer Ton an der Oboe, aber auch an Englischhorn, Sopransax und Bassklarinette, sowie die obligatorische freie Gruppenimprovisation. Überraschend sind einige Passagen, in denen die Band jazziger und swingender klingt als gewohnt (“Walk the Walk”, “Hop, Skip And a Thump”). Und am Schluss steht völlig untypischerweise mit dem schottischen Folksong “The Water Is Wide” eine Fremdkomposition, die einfach nur bezaubert und den Zuhörer mit dem Wunsch “Noch mal!” entlässt.

1/9/2017JazzthetikGuido Diesing
Oregon: Lantern (4 stars & ½)

Pochi gruppi, soprattutto nel mondo del jazz, possono vantare una tenuta così lunga come quella degli Oregon, che si sta ormai avvicinando al mezzo secolo di vita (il quartetto è stato fondato nel 1970). Lantern è il trentesimo titolo della loro discografia (contando anche un paio di antologie), pubblicato come i quattro precedenti dalla etichetta italiana CAM JAZZ. È anche il primo senza l'apporto del contrabbassista Glen Moore, uno dei membri fondatori, che nel 2015 ha scelto di lasciare i compagni per dedicarsi ad attività personali, sostituito dall'italiano Paolino Dalla Porta. Nonostante i cambi di formazione intervenuti nel tempo (soprattutto il percussionista, ruolo ormai stabilmente coperto da Mark Walker), la musica degli Oregon è sempre stata la risultante delle personalità dei suoi componenti, rimanendo continuamente fedele all'impostazione originaria che sta alla base del loro successo: un mix vincente di colori etnici, rigorosità classica e improvvisazione jazzistica, unito a un parco strumenti insolito basato principalmente sugli impasti di chitarra classica/12-corde e oboe/corno inglese, che li ha resi un punto di riferimento obbligato e una fonte di ispirazione costante. Anche se non c'è un vero e proprio leader, la figura dominante a livello compositivo è sempre stato il chitarrista e pianista Ralph Towner, autore della maggior parte dei brani che costituiscono il repertorio del gruppo. Il nuovo disco non fa eccezione: dei dieci brani presenti, sei sono sue composizioni, uno è una improvvisazione di gruppo (sempre presente sia nei dischi che nei concerti) e i restanti tre sono firmati ciascuno da uno degli altri membri del gruppo (ma nel caso di Paul McCandless è l'arrangiamento di un antico tema tradizionale, "The Water Is Wide"). Tre delle composizioni di Towner, tutte caratterizzate dal profondo lirismo che contraddistingue i suoi temi, sono novità assolute ("Not Forgotten," "Figurine" e "Hop, Skip and a Thump"), mentre altre due sono rielaborazioni di brani già incisi dal chitarrista ("Duende" e "Dolomiti Dance") e "The Glide" risale all'ultimo album inciso con la formazione originaria, Crossing. L'alchimia tra i componenti del gruppo funziona ancora a meraviglia, e il nuovo entrato Dalla Porta dimostra di essersi integrato alla perfezione. La sua composizione "Aeolian Dance" è uno dei brani migliori della raccolta, totalmente aderente alla poetica del gruppo. I due membri originari rimasti, Towner e McCandless, si confermano fantastici improvvisatori, e Walker sa fornire sempre il giusto accompagnamento con le sue percussioni. La magia degli Oregon continua ancora a incantare senza stancare, e il nuovo disco è probabilmente uno dei loro migliori da diverso tempo. Decisamente da non perdere, anche se i fan del gruppo non avranno bisogno di questa raccomandazione.

4/8/2017allaboutjazz.comMario Calvitti
Oregon Lantern

Voilà maintenant plus de trente-cinq ans qu’Oregon poursuit son singulier parcours, parsemé d’influences ethniques, aux confins d’un jazz aux couleurs délicates, interprété par des superbes musiciens dont le talent n’est plus à prouver. Emmené par deux membres rescapés du quartette original, le guitariste et pianiste Ralph Towner et le saxophoniste Paul McCandless, Oregon offre ici un opus sans réelles surprises, prolongeant avec constance son univers au raffinement poétique d’une extrême sophistication. L’éclectisme de l’album trouve sa cohérence grâce à l’unité et la connivence d’ensemble où l’apport rythmique et mélodique des percussions et de la contrebasse de Mark Walker et Paolino Dalla Porta insufflent la fraicheur et l’énergie nécessaires aux climats nuancés de l’album. Mais, que ce soit l’ambiance éthérée du minimal et nostalgique The Water Is Wide où l’émotion poignante de Figurine, l’apport de Ralph Towner se révèle encore et toujours essentiel: il s’illustre ici plus encore au piano, faisant preuve d’un toucher et d’une sensibilité remarquables, en contre-chant complice du lyrisme soigné de Paul McCandless. “Lantern” allume également quelques belles mèches swingantes qui ne décevront pas les fidèles de ce quartette emblématique, et devrait tout autant séduire les amateurs d’un jazz à l’esthétisme pluriel et raffiné.

1/8/2017Jazz MagazineJean-Pierre Vidal
Oregon, Lantern

È una formazione storica quella degli Oregon, che con questo “Lantern” giunge al traguardo del trentesimo album, il quinto pubblicato da Cam Jazz. A testimoniare come un gruppo ben rodato come gli Oregon possa forgiare nel tempo uno stile inossidabile a qualsiasi usura e percepibile in una sorta di eterna freschezza sono i 10 brani contenuti in “Lantern”. Qui accanto allo zoccolo duro della band (Ralph Towner alla chitarra, piano e sintetizzatore, Mark Walker alla batteria e percussioni, Paul McCandless all’oboe, sax soprano e clarinetto basso) fa la sua comparsa al contrabbasso Paolino Dalla Porta, a introdurre qualcosa di nuovo senza snaturare il tono del discorso musicale originale, in perfetta consonanza con i modi e il suono degli Oregon. Con questa line up il percorso di ascolto delle dieci tracce di “Lantern”, tutte originali, è un itinerario dinamico in cui capita di imbattersi in motivi ritmicamente pronunciati e densi di swing così come in liriche melodie libere nella struttura e nell’inventiva, in una ricca gamma espressiva. L’approccio compositivo è collettivo e coeso e si esprime al massimo in larghi squarci di improvvisazione che trovano spazio negli assoli dei singoli strumenti. Un disco che induce ad essere seguito per gli improvvisi cambi di scena che contiene. Il tema quasi ballabile di “Dolomite Dance”, enunciato dalla chitarra di Ralph Towner e dal sapore molto classico trova quasi un controcanto naturale nel gusto mediterraneo di “Aeolian Tale”. La struttura visionaria e inattesa di “Walkin’ the Walk” fa da contrappunto alla meditativa “Duende”, così come la sperimentazione sonora e avanzata della titletrack “Lantern” si spegne lentamente nella melodia larga e piana della conclusiva “The Water is Wide”, la dolcissima “Figurine”, con l’ampia intro al pianoforte, sembra sfociare quasi naturalmente nell’energia prorompente di “The Glide”. Un gioco di bilanciamenti, un’alternanza di vertiginosi slanci e rassicuranti emozioni questo “Lantern”, che conferma l’abilità di questa rodata formazione e che ci fa già da ora attendere i frutti del loro prossimo lavoro.

21/7/2017pianosolo.itPaola Parri
Oregon var ikkie død

Ei av dei hippaste amerikanske gruppene på syttitalet var kvartetten Oregon, som med nokre byte er like sprek i dag.
«Lantern» heiter albumet der to av grunderane, Ralph Towner på gitar og Paul McCandless på ymse horn, er med fra start. Sist ankomne i bandet er bassisten Paolino Dalla Porta, som spelar bass etter Glenn Moore. Trommeslagar Collin Walcott omkom i ei bilulukke i 1984, Trilok Gurtu tok over, trommeslagar no er Mark Walker, og det er aldri for seint. Lat deg ikkje drukne i namn-dropping, men opplev gleda ved ein heilakustik latin-inspirert kvartett med ro i sjela som lyder like frisk, freidig og lyrisk som då bandet vart til. Towner og Moore var dei to første, som møttest som studentar i 1970 ved universitetet i Oregon. Inn kom Walcott som Towner byrja å improviserer saman med. Moore møtte Paul McCandless, og alle fire byrja å samarbeide meir målmedvite, med musikk som skulle heim i vide krinsar. Og vi kan trygt kalle det eit kult-band. Pasjonert, luftig, poetisk, forfina, «gentle» er karakteristikkar henta frå kritikkane av den første Camjazz-plata, utnemnd som «musikk frå ein annan stad» etter dei tre første albuma. Mens «Lantern» er trettiande albumet frå eit band som i høg grad har prega si tid, og i ulike konstellasjonar. Med utgjevingar på Vanguard, ECM, Intuition, CamJazz og fleire. Lengst i bandet har bassist Glenn Moore vore, som gjekk av i 2015. «Dolomiti Dance», «Duende», «Walk The Walk», «Not Forgotten», «The Glide» og «Lantern», vi er på reise med kultbandet som erobra verda, og vi rundar av med «The Water Is Wide», folketonen alle har trykt til sitt hjarte, spelt av McCandless menn av distingvert utsjånad, eit musikalsk lukketreff med opphav Oregon.

15/7/2017DagsavisenRoald Helgheim
Oregon ‘Lantern’

Chamber jazz specialists Oregon return with an album that is very much in the lineage of their ECM recordings, even if a new member is on board in Italian double bassist Paolino Dalla Porta. Group founding members Paul McCandless and Ralph Towner are both on hand to ensure that the Oregon tradition is maintained. That said, there is a lovely departure in the flamenco guitar led and inspired piece, ‘Duende’, the title of which refers to that essential, yet difficult to pin down (and define in English at least) ingredient at the essence of flamenco music. Classical guitar and soprano saxophone combine well here and, as a whole, the number succeeds in conveying the flavour of southern Spain. More akin to the Oregon sound of old is the folk-jazz of the opening track, ‘Dolomiti dance’, where what sounds like oboe and then sweet soprano saxophone play off the guitar, and the percussion enters organically into proceedings. Towner reverts to piano on the quiet and calming duet of, ‘Figurine’, with McCandless this time operating on soprano. A fine ensemble performance can be heard on, ‘Aeolian tale’, where bass and classical guitar combine effectively with the subtle use of percussion and soprano saxophone finally entering. For something that is quite a departure from the rest of the album, ‘Walk the walk’, is a post-bop influenced number that is thoroughly modern in approach and features Towner comping on piano and an extended solo from McCandless. This writer would like to hear more of this more flamboyant side of Oregon. This is the thirtieth Oregon album in total and these seasoned musicians, albeit with a new input on this occasion, have once more come up with a quality recording.

12/7/2017ukvibe.orgTim Stenhouse
Oregon: Lantern review – poignant reveries and sophisticated fun - 4 stars

Lantern is the pioneering 47-year-old crossover ensemble Oregon’s 30th album, and features new takes on their soundscape of acoustic guitar and oboe delicacies propelled by firm basslines and dynamic percussion. The classical-jazz reeds player Paul McCandless and acoustic guitarist, pianist and composer Ralph Towner remain, and Italian double-bassist Paolino Dalla Porta now joins exciting percussionist Mark Walker, a member since 1997. The Oregon signature shines in the bright, darting soprano-sax vehicle Dolomiti Dance, which sounds like a chamber-classical calypso with a bit of a jig in it. Towner’s quiet acoustic-guitar intensity warms the Spanish-inflected Duende, and he uncorks a Keith Jarrett-like piano solo for the jazzy Walkin’ the Walk. The band’s subtle way with poignant and lyrical music is reflected in reveries like Not Forgotten and the misty Figurine, and Towner’s slyly modulating, snappily swinging The Glide (a favourite of UK vocal star Norma Winstone) is a standout. They still sound as if they know how to have some very sophisticated fun.

6/7/2017theguardian.comJohn Ford
Oregon Lantern

When Oregon appeared on the cover of the Oct. 10, 1974, issue of Downbeat, the magazine’s table for contents contained a blurb for readers who were not familiar with the band: “Four former members of the Paul Winter Consort… comprise this unusual acoustic chamber ensemble. Their music is full of peace, beauty and freedom of expression…”. That description of Oregon’s music is still apt today. Nearly 50 years after it was founded, the quartet still has two of its original members: woodwinds player Paul McCandless and guitarist and keyboardist Ralph Towner. Rounding out the group are longtime drummer/percussionist Mark Walker and double bassist Paolino Dalla Porta, who joined in 2015 but is making his recording debut with Oregon on its terrific new album, Lantern. All 10 tracks here are original compositions--except for a beautiful rendition of the traditional tune “The Water Is Wide”, arranged by McCandless, who plays an impressive array of instruments on this disc: oboe, English horn, soprano saxophone and bass clarinet. Towner displays his exceptional skills on classical guitar, piano and synthesizer. While some tracks have a bit of a world-music feel, others, like “Walkin’ The Walk”, are clearly in the jazz vein. Throughout the program, all four musicians’ exquisite solos are featured amid polished, profound cohesion. Graceful teamwork is what makes Lantern shine so brightly. Oregon is currently on tour, with dates in numerous European cities, including Augsburg, Germany (July 12), Warsaw (July 15), Rome (July 17) and London (July 20-21).

6/7/2017downbeat.comBobby Reed
Oregon “Lantern

Fra i più longevi gruppi presenti nella scena internazionale del Jazz e della World Music, tra l’ultimo quarto di secolo scorso e il nuovo millennio, gli Oregon si ritrovavano, dopo un tour di affinamento con la new entry Paolino Dalla Porta, nuovamente in studio per confezionare “Lantern”, quinto album realizzato per la Cam Jazz. Gli storici co-fondatori Ralph Towner (chitarra, pianoforte e tastiere) e Paul McCandless (soprano, clarinetto, oboe) formano, con il batterista Mark Walker e il contrabbassista citato, un ensemble dai perfetti equilibri dinamico-timbrici. Le composizioni, scaturite in gran parte dalla vena creativa di Towner, arricchiscono la condivisa visione musicale di un collaudato gruppo dal raffinato gusto formale. Il lavoro, fluido, luminoso, godibile, si snoda nei suoi dieci brani con una leggerezza che lascia ammirare, senza dover interpretare, una sequenza di assolo che prendono via via il largo dalle fasi corali introduttive o le enunciazioni del tema. Il decano Ralph Towner, sia alla chitarra che al pianoforte, inonda l’ambiente d’ascolto con le peculiarità della propria tavolozza cromatica, al pari di Paul McCandless che spazia in lungo e in largo con i suoi molteplici strumenti, creando un’inconfondibile front line di grande effetto con il partner di sempre. La sezione ritmica contrabbasso - batteria mostra una energia tanto pulsante, quanto elegante, facendo emergere in più di un’occasione il virtuosismo di Paolino Dalla Porta e il percussivo drumming di Mark Walker, a suggello di un altro fascinoso capitolo della mai sazia formazione a stelle e strisce.
Qualità artistica 8
Qualità tecnica 8,5

30/6/2017Fedeltà del SuonoFrancesco Peluso
Oregon: Lantern

Despite having to replace percussionists a couple of times since its inception in 1970, Oregon's otherwise consistent lineup of reed/woodwind multi-instrumentalist Paul McCandless, guitarist/pianist/primary composer Ralph Towner and double bassist Glen Moore remained unchanged for forty-five years—surely some kind of record in the jazz world. And with current drummer/percussionist Mark Walker joining the group for 1997's Northwest Passage (Intuition), Oregon has, over the last two decades, enjoyed its longest-standing lineup. Until 2015, that is, when it was announced, on Walker's website, that Moore was leaving the band after forty-three years, to act "on his long held desire to pursue his individual vision of music," and "to spend more time with his family." At the time, while the band announced that it would, indeed, continue, with Italian bassist Paolino Dalla Porta taking Moore's place, there were few fans of the group—in particular, those who've followed Oregon for any significant amount of time—who weren't concerned that his departure would have serious implications for a band whose identity has been so distinctive since first emerging with original percussionist/sitarist Collin Walcott, the result of meeting during its members' tenure in saxophonist Paul Winter's Consort group of the late '60s/early '70s. Towner may have long been the group's primary composer, but one or two Moore compositions invariably showed up on most Oregon recordings...pieces that, along with the bassist's off-times unconventional approach, brought a certain playful mischief and wit to the group. In a group whose co-founders had been together as long as Towner, McCandless and Moore, it's undeniable that every one of them brought something special that ultimately contributed to Oregon's collective sound and unique combination of form and freedom. The good news is that, despite Dalla Porta bearing little resemblance to Moore, Lantern—the group's first to feature its new bassist and first studio effort since 2012's Family Tree (the group's fourth release since finding a new home on the Italian Cam Jazz imprint in 2005 with Prime)—makes clear that, while the influx of new blood has altered the group's complexion to some extent, it remains a group that sounds like no other. Simply put: Lantern remains an album that could be made by no-one else but Oregon. Oregon may, indeed, have certain signatures that apply to many records, including: a couple of tunes culled and rearranged for the group from Towner's solo discography with Germany's ECM Records (the metrically and thematically knotty "Duende," first heard on the guitarist's Travel Guide (2013), and more pastoral "Duende," from his most recent ECM date, My Foolish Heart); the revisitation of a previously recorded Oregon composition (a more decidedly swinging version of Towner's "The Glide," first heard on the group's final recording with Walcott before his untimely 1984 death in an auto accident while the group was on tour in Germany, Crossing (ECM, 1985); and a collective spontaneous composition, freely improvised by the entire group (the atmospheric, occasionally abstruse title track and only one to feature Towner's synthesizer...and Walker's drum synthesizer as well) that, nevertheless, gradually assumes a semblance of structure and the suggestion of preconception where there is none...one of Oregon's most significant signatures...and modus operandi...since its inception. Still, if that in any way suggests that the group has settled into a comfort zone, think again: if anything, while there are certain touchstones common to many Oregon recordings, and certain methodologies that have come to define its sound and approach to harmony and melody, Lantern makes clear that, forty-seven years on, and with its two remaining co-founders well into their senior years, Oregon remains as effortlessly surprising and holistically inimitable as it's ever been. Sure, Oregon is not the regular groundbreaker it once was on albums like 1973's particularly memorable Winter Light (Vanguard), 1980's still thrilling In Performance (Elektra), or its first post-Walcott album with Trilok Gurtu, 1987's Ecotopia (ECM). For any group to exist this long, it cannot possibly continue to be rapidly revolutionary album-after-album; instead it ultimately becomes something more evolutionary, where its ongoing redefinition and development is subtler and more gradual. Still, not only does Dalla Porta infuse the group with fresh blood through a more lyrical approach and less hard-edged tone; he also demonstrates, with his sole compositional contribution—the 11/8, largely hand percussion-driven "Aeolian Tale"—that he clearly "gets" Oregon, on a gently melodic piece that sounds as though it could fit on any Oregon album from across its long career, with Towner's classical guitar and McCandless' soprano saxophone bringing the composition right into the group's wheelhouse. Walker, too, continues to contribute to Oregon's already sizeable repertoire, this time with the modal "Walk the Walk." With Towner on piano and McCandless, again, on soprano saxophone, the group achieves a rare full-on boil with a track that's not just Lantern's fiercest composition, but one of the group's most flat-out incendiary tracks ever, featuring a drum solo that, constructed with sharp focus, suggests that, despite building a solid reputation over the years (in particular in the Afro-Cuban world), Walker still deserves to find an even broader following. The ever-virtuosic yet never extraneous McCandless doesn't contribute any new originals this time around, but he does provide a lovely arrangement of the 17th Century Scottish traditional, "The Water is Wide." Not unlike the group's regularly performed look at Jim Pepper's "Witchi-Tai-To," it's a relaxed rendition made all the more "Oregon" through McCandless' choice of bass clarinet as its melodic instrument, with Towner on piano and Dalla Porta, on this track, somehow channelling a hint of Moore during his solo. Three new Towner compositions round out Lantern's ten-song, hour-long set. "Not Forgotten," with Towner on classical guitar and McCandless on English horn, feels like classic Oregon; Towner's harmonic approach has long been a distinctive part of the Oregon sound, one that few others have been able to approach capturing, and here he solos with the broad intervallic movements that have also become signature for a guitarist informed heavily by his first instrument, piano...even when reduced to but six strings. "Hop, Skip and a Thump" is more playful, with a memorably singable melody—and, like the title, a form that moves from thematic hops and skips to a more thumping pulse, even as Dalla Porta and Walker ultimately bring an amiable, pliant sense of swing to their support of both McCandless' oboe solo and Towner's own turn on classical guitar, while "Figurine" is a pastoral piano-driven miniature—a duet for Oregon's two remaining co-founders that, in its delicate nuances and subtlest turns of phrase, shines a soft spotlight on a chemistry shared by these two for nearly a lifetime. With Towner now 77, at this point every new Oregon album—or solo release, for that matter—is truly a gift; that said, Lantern demonstrates that neither he nor the group (even with a new member) are in any way slowing down when it comes to music that's filled with effortless mastery and rare collective chemistry. At its current pace of releases—one every three-to-five years—it is, hard though this may be to contemplate, a harsh reality that the number of future Oregon albums may likely be counted on the fingers of one hand. But whether or not the superb Lantern turns out to be the group's studio swan song or it has another few up its sleeve, when this groundbreaking group—perhaps the first worthy of the description "world music"—is finished, it will have left a legacy few others can match...and a stellar discography of remarkable size, consistency and, equally important, relevance. With Oregon's unparalleled approach to composition, improvisation and performance, and with a collective chemistry as deeply profound and eminently appealing as that heard on Lantern—even with a new member—it's a legacy sure to last long after its time is over...though, hopefully, that time remains in the far distant future.

26/6/2017allaboutjazz.comJohn Kelman
Oregon - Lantern

Kilka dni przez rejestracją tego albumu kwartet Oregon zagrał fragmenty nowych kompozycji w czasie festiwalowej Ery Jazzu oraz trasy koncertowej w 2016 roku. W zespole pojawił się wtedy nowy kontrabasista, Paolino Dalla Porta, który – wydawać by się mogło, że tylko na chwilę – zstąpił legendarnego Glena Moore’a, założyciela słynnej formacji. Skomplikowane problemy zdrowotne okazały się dla G.Moore wystarczającym powodem, by zrezygnować z koncertowego rytmu kwartetu a teraz – co pokazuje także i nowy album- ustąpić miejsca młodszemu wirtuozowi kontrabasu. „ Lantern” jest zatem nie tylko trzydziestą płytą grupy Oregon, ale jest także zwieńczeniem prawie dwuletniej współpracy z Paolino Della Porta i oczywistą deklaracją muzyków: gramy dalej ! Oregon jest ewenementem na jazzowej scenie: to bodaj najstarszy zespół, który bez specjalnych przerw i artystycznych zawirowań nagrywa i koncertuje od prawie pół wieku. Charakterystyczna, subtelna muzyka kwartetu na wiele dekad zbliżyła entuzjastów jazzowej tradycji oraz charakterystycznego brzmienia zespołu. To ewenement formalny i stylistyczny w historii muzyki jazzowej, ale także doskonały dowód na wierność artystyczną projektu , znanego na całym świecie jako Oregon. Zespół powstał w 1970 roku jako nowoczesna mutacja słynnego warsztatowego Consort Paula Wintera. Utworzyli go gitarzysta i klawiszowiec Ralph Towner, perkusista, sitarzysta, tablista i klarnecista Colin Walcott, basista, skrzypek, pianista i flecista Glen Moore oraz saksofonista altowy, oboista, klarnecista basowy Paul McCandless. Oregon eksplorował obrzeża jazzu, stapiając w jedną całość elementy klasyki, folku, muzyki hinduskiej i etnicznej. Takie kameralne podejście zmuszało publiczność do ciszy i wielkiej koncentracji, niezbędnych do właściwej percepcji tej misternie utkanej materii dźwięków. Od czasu do czasu zespół wybuchał muzyką osnutą na tradycyjnej formie i fakturze, pozornie zamierzając wynagrodzić słuchaczy za trudniejsze chwile. Oregon konsekwentnie broni się przed wszelkimi kompromisami, co sprawia, że nie ma sobie równych, gdy idzie o budowanie artystycznego napięcia; reprezentuje też jedną z najbardziej znaczących a biorących początek z jazzu, muzycznych stylistyk. Mogło się wydawać, że śmierć Walcotta w wypadku samochodowym w 1984 roku będzie dla zespołu wyrokiem, a jednak po roku żałoby muzycy powrócili na estradę. Zespół zasilił teraz przyjaciel Walcotta, tablista, bębniarz, perkusjonista Trilok Gurtu a wraz z nim otworzyły się nowe perspektywy. Od wielu lat nadwornym perkusistą zespołu jest także Mark Walker. Teraz kolejna wolta personalna : miast Glena Moore’a kwartet tworzy także włoski basista Paolino Dalla Porta. Historyczny trzon oraz oczywistą manierę brzmienia trzymają saksofonista Paul McCandless, który w znacznym stopniu przyczynił się do ukształtowania stylistyki muzyki fusion, uprawianej przez grupę. Oraz Ralph Towner – wybitny gitarzysta jazzowy, z przeogromnym dorobkiem artystycznym, ale także oczywistym piętnem „brzmienia Oregon”. Album „Lantern” nie jest zatem muzycznym zaskoczeniem, nowym rozdaniem czy przełomem w dyskografii i muzyce kwartetu. To jest jeszcze bardziej precyzyjne umiejscawiania struktur jazzu, w których budowanie nastroju, bawienie się perfekcyjną improwizacją, swoistym „aranżowaniem” dźwięku powoduje, że jest to formacja, którą porównać z żadną nie sposób. Kompozycje ( wszystkich muzyków zespołu) są brzmieniowo składne i jednorodne oraz wypływają z poszanowanie tradycji, muzyki folkowej, współczesnym form struktur jazzu. Może właśnie dlatego tworzy się specyficzna i niepowtarzalna melancholia i brzmieniowe subtelności i artystyczne skojarzenia.

16/6/2017jazz.plDionizy Piątkowski