Saturday, February 04, 2017

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Spotlight on Ralph Towner

This week, let's take a look at some videos featuring guitarist Ralph Towner, who's coming to St. Louis to perform in a concert presented by Washington University's Jazz at Holmes series on Saturday, February 18 at the 560 Music Center.

Towner this week released a new album of solo guitar, My Foolish Heart. It's his 29th recording for the ECM label, which has put out all of his solo material since 1973.

Recorded last Feburary in Lugano, Switzerland under the supervision of ECM founder Manfred Eicher, My Foolish Heart features a mix of new compositions and older material, including two tunes originally recorded by the band Oregon (which Towner co-founded back in the early 70s) and the title track, a staple of his repertoire that he began playing after being inspired years ago by pianist Bill Evans' version.

In the first clip up above, you can hear a version of "My Foolish Heart" from a show Towner did in 2014 in London. Recorded by an audience member who seems to have been sitting in the front row, the video swoops around a bit at the start but locks in on the guitarist after a few seconds.

You can see hear more solo performances from Towner after the jump, starting with a recording of "Solitary Woman" made in 2014 at the POA Jazz Festival in Brazil.

Below that, there's a video with Towner playing "Jamaica Stopover" and "Solitary Woman" (again) in a concert in 2009 at the International Guitar festival in Uppsala, Sweden.

Moving back in time chronologically, next is a full set recorded in May 1998 at the Open Strings Festival in Osunbruck, Germany.

The last two clips, undated but perhaps from the early 1990s, feature Towner playing the standard "I Fall in Love Too Easily" and his own "Silence of a Candle," originally recorded with Oregon on their 1972 debut album Music of Another Present Era.

For more about My Foolish Heart, check out the two reviews published this week by and the extended take offered by Ralph A. Miriello at the Huffington Post.

You can see the rest of today's videos after the jump...

No comments: