on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2011 16 Jul

Ein Klassiker von Ralph Towner: Diary (ECM)

von: Michael Engelbrecht Filed under: Blog,Gute Musik,Musik vor 2011 | TB | Tags:  2 Comments

Even in the context of Towner’s brilliant career, „Diary“ is an outstanding album — one of the four or five masterpieces in Towner’s solo oeuvre. It’s an astonishingly intimate album, almost private and hermetic as it drills down through layers of gorgeous melody to the roots of music itself in free pieces like „Entry in a Diary.“ This is one of the great rainy day albums of all time, featuring probing dialogues between Towner’s guitar and piano, with occasional percussion. There’s a tender sadness here, but there’s also joy and triumph. Note: This is „early“ Towner — the same moody genius of Oregon’s „Distant Hills“ and „Winter Light.“ The oft-played „Icarus“ gets a victorious reading here, with a tension between the unbridled ecstasy of the melody and Towner’s fragmented attack; „Mon Enfant“ is a perfect solo guitar miniature for the ages — one can imagine Bach hearing it and musing on its delicate melancholy; „Images Unseen“ and „Entry in a Diary“ extend the guitar and piano landscape into free space, adding percussion, in the manner of Oregon’s set-opening improvisations; and one wishes that „Ogden Road,“ with its poignant exchanges between Towner’s inimitable crystalline guitar and his Bill Evans-style piano meditations, would go on forever. A fine introduction to Towner’s solo work — even more inward than, say, „Open Letter,“ if not quite as incendiary as „Solo Concert,“ and more intense than his later all-solo all-instruments outing, „Blue Sun.“ Highest recommendation. (Steven Silberman, Wired)

diary LP

This entry was posted on Samstag, 16. Juli 2011 and is filed under "Blog, Gute Musik, Musik vor 2011". You can follow any responses to this entry with RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


  1. Jochen Siemer:

    Ralph Towners akustisches Gitarrenspiel (classic, 12-string) war bahnbrechend und eine Inspiration – auch für viele Gitarristen. Es wurde – solo und im Oregon-Kreis – nicht nur Musik gemacht – es war, als würden Parallelwelten geschaffen und Naturgötter beschwört. Komischerweise fand ich Klassische Gitarre immer relativ langweilig, aber der Ton, den eine Konzertgitarre erzeugen kann, den finde ich reizvoll. Abends beim Einschlafen zu den Klängen von Towners Twelvestring („Brujo“) hinüberzugleiten ins Traumreich – das bleibt unvergessen.

  2. Michael Engelbrecht:

    Die Musik hat damals viele in die Träume begleitet. Die Magie der frühen Jahre, der folgenreichen Entdeckungen.

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