Ralph Towner - Solo Concert (1980) {ECM 1173}

Posted By: tiburon
Ralph Towner - Solo Concert (1980) {ECM 1173}

Ralph Towner - Solo Concert (1980) {ECM 1173}
EAC 0.99pb4 | FLAC Image level 6 | Cue+Log | Full Scans 300dpi | 234MB + 5% Recovery
MP3 CBR 320 Kbps | 127MB + 5% Recovery
Genre: Acoustic Guitar Fusion

This very well-recorded album features Ralph Towner playing 12-string and classical guitar on "Nardis," two pieces by John Abercrombie, and four of his own originals. The interpretations are typically sensitive, thoughtful, and often introspective, but also show off Towner's impressive technique.

Ralph Towner - Time Line (2006) {ECM 1968}

Posted By: tiburon
Ralph Towner - Time Line (2006) {ECM 1968}

Ralph Towner - Time Line (2006) {ECM 1968}
EAC 1.0b1 | FLAC tracks level 8 | Cue+Log+M3U | Full Scans 200dpi | 204MB + 5% Recovery
MP3 CBR 320 Kbps | 100MB + 5% Recovery
Genre: Acoustic Guitar Fusion

It's hard to believe that it's been more than five years since Ralph Towner issued his last solo guitar album, or any album under his own name, for that matter. Anthem was issued in 2000. Time Line is a return to the stark, spacious and lyrical explorations of that set. That's not to say this is any kind of direct replica. Towner's a restless artist, he pushes his boundaries on the classical and 12-string guitars. The set contains 14 new compositions and two fine covers that provide the real reason for Towner's not-so-secret inspiration here: George Gershwin's "My Man's Gone Now," and Harold Arlen's "Come Rain or Come Shine." The muse, of course, is Bill Evans. Evans has been forever associated with the former tune since his 1961 trio performance of it at the Village Vanguard; the latter is a tune he played live fairly often in the '60s and even the '70s.

Ralph Towner / Wolfgang Muthspiel / Slava Grigoryan - Travel Guide (2013) {ECM 2310}

Posted By: tiburon
Ralph Towner / Wolfgang Muthspiel / Slava Grigoryan - Travel Guide (2013) {ECM 2310}

Ralph Towner / Wolfgang Muthspiel / Slava Grigoryan - Travel Guide (2013) {ECM 2310}
EAC 1.0b3 | FLAC tracks level 8 | Cue+Log+M3U | Full Scans 300dpi | 226MB + 5% Recovery
MP3 CBR 320 Kbps | 115MB + 5% Recovery
Genre: Fusion

An international summit meeting, Travel Guide features US guitarist Ralph Towner, Austrian guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel, and Kazakhstan-born and Australia-raised guitarist Slava Grigoryan. The three musicians first came together in 2005, initially for concerts in Australia, and have since toured widely. A 2009 recording on Muthspiel’s Material Records label documented the group’s early progress. Ralph Towner subsequently brought the project to ECM and the trio recorded this album in Lugano in August 2012, with Manfred Eicher as producer. Towner has been a key ECM recording artist for more than 40 years, while Muthspiel and Grigoryan make label debuts here. Grigoryan is well known as the preeminent Australian classical guitarist of his generation, and Muthspiel’s been an important figure on the transatlantic jazz scene for two decades.

Ralph Towner & Gary Peacock - A Closer View (1998) {ECM 1602}

Posted By: tiburon
Ralph Towner & Gary Peacock - A Closer View (1998) {ECM 1602}

Ralph Towner & Gary Peacock - A Closer View (1998) {ECM 1602}
EAC 0.99pb4 | FLAC tracks level 8 | Cue+Log+M3U | Full Scans 300dpi | 190MB + 5% Recovery
MP3 CBR 320 Kbps | 132MB + 5% Recovery
Genre: Acoustic Fusion

A Closer View is the successor to 1993's Oracle, a record described by Downbeat as "charming and thoughtful, conveying the familiarity and empathy of partners who have worked together for years. Towner and Peacock share a deep interest in Bill Evans' music, which manifests itself in the light touch, intricacy and sensitivity that pervade the session." Oracle was initiated as Peacock's project and featured primarily the bassist's compositions. A Closer View reverses the formula, highlighting Towner's pieces. There are seven new tunes from the guitarist and three off-the-cuff joint compositions in an album completed by one Peacock "classic", the song "Moor".

Ralph Towner - City Of Eyes (1989) {ECM 1388}

Posted By: tiburon
Ralph Towner - City Of Eyes (1989) {ECM 1388}

Ralph Towner - City Of Eyes (1989) {ECM 1388}
EAC 0.99pb5 | FLAC Image level 8 | Cue+Log | Scans 200dpi | 181MB + 5% Recovery
MP3 CBR 320 Kbps | 114MB + 5% Recovery
Genre: Acoustic Fusion

Ralph Towner breaks out in more ways than one on City of Eyes. Despite his band Oregon's lagging creative slump and his own obsession with a synthesizer he is only beginning to learn how to "play," Towner cuts some new grooves on this set with an all-star cast. New to Towner's musical universe is drummer/percussionist Jerry Granelli and brass auteur Markus Stockhausen. Even Paul McCandless – who has spent the better part of the '80s making new age albums – doesn't muck things up this time out. The opener, "Jamaica Stopover," is Towner's freshest solo guitar piece in ages. It's slippery, has a groove, and is actually rooted in both the blues and gypsy swing. The first ensemble piece, "Cascades," sounds a little florid at the outset, but Granelli's percussive ambience is a cure for the rococo melody (it again reeks of Offramp-period Pat Metheny-ism).

Ralph Towner - Lost And Found (1996) {ECM 1563}

Posted By: tiburon
Ralph Towner - Lost And Found (1996) {ECM 1563}

Ralph Towner - Lost And Found (1996) {ECM 1563}
EAC 0.95b4 | FLAC Image level 8 | Cue+Log | Full Scans 300dpi | 249MB + 5% Recovery
MP3 CBR 320 Kbps | 139MB + 5% Recovery
Genre: Acoustic Fusion

This 1995 date shows guitarist and composer Ralph Towner in estimable form. For a guy who's released literally dozens of records under his own name and with his band Oregon and played on dozens more, he still seems to have plenty to say with only two guitars in his arsenal (well, there was the period where he used a Prophet Five synthesizer with Oregon, but we won't go into that here). Using familiar (Marc Johnson and Jon Christensen) and new (Denny Goodhew) faces, Towner goes searching for that elusive muse he has been pursuing for over 30 years: the root of what makes complex harmonic and melodic improvisation possible. His relentlessness is in fine shape here.

Ralph Towner - Diary (1974) {ECM 1032}

Posted By: tiburon
Ralph Towner - Diary (1974) {ECM 1032}

Ralph Towner - Diary (1974) {ECM 1032}
EAC 1.0b1 | FLAC tracks level 8 | Cue+Log+M3U | Full Scans 300dpi | 199MB + 5% Recovery
MP3 CBR 320 Kbps | 106MB + 5% Recovery
Genre: Acoustic Fusion

This 1974 album was given a well-deserved boost when ECM reissued it in 2001. It's a solo performance with a twist: Towner plays not only 12-string and classical guitars, but also very competent piano. Only "Entry in a Diary" and "Mon Enfant" are unaccompanied guitar solos; the latter, a traditional melody, is also the sole non-original. On four of the remaining six tracks, Towner accompanies himself via overdubs, playing both guitar and piano for an effect vaguely reminiscent of Bill Evans' Conversations With Myself.

Ralph Towner - Blue Sun (1983) {ECM 1250}

Posted By: tiburon
Ralph Towner - Blue Sun (1983) {ECM 1250}

Ralph Towner - Blue Sun (1983) {ECM 1250}
EAC 0.99pbb4 | FLAC Image level 6 | Cue+Log | Full Scans 300dpi | 217MB + 5% Recovery
MP3 CBR 320 Kbps | 118MB + 5% Recovery
Genre: Acoustic Fusion

If there were ever any doubts as to Ralph Towner’s consummate abilities, though one would need to travel far to encounter them, they can only have been put to rest with the release of Blue Sun. A near highpoint in Towner’s extensive discography, it might have shared the summit of 1980’s Solo Concert were it not for a few frayed threads. Towner’s compositions are already so harmonically dense in their solo form that other instruments merely externalize what is already so internally apparent to them, so that the intimate pickings of “The Prince And The Sage,” “Mevlana Etude,” and “Wedding Of The Streams” hover most clearly before our ears. At the same time, there is something skeletal about his playing that cries for flesh. Not for want of completeness, nor out of lack, but rather through the his balance and inward posture, a flower-like duplicity that embraces both blooming and wilting in the same breath.

Teddy Pendergrass - Original Album Classics (2014) [5CDs] [Epic}

Posted By: tiburon
Teddy Pendergrass - Original Album Classics (2014) [5CDs] [Epic}

Teddy Pendergrass - Original Album Classics (2014) [5CDs] {Epic}
EAC 1.0b3 | FLAC tracks level 8 | Cue+Log+M3U | Full Scans 300dpi | 1.3GB + 5% Recovery
MP3 CBR 320 Kbps | 459MB+ 5% Recovery
Genre: Soul, Funk

Excellent five CD set containing five original albums in mini LP sleeves (featuring original cover art) and all are housed together in one slipcase. Includes the albums Teddy Pendergrass, Life Is A Song Worth Singing, Teddy, TP and It's Time For Love.

Keziah Jones - Blufunk Is A Fact! (1992) {Herald}

Posted By: tiburon
Keziah Jones - Blufunk Is A Fact! (1992) {Herald}

Keziah Jones - Blufunk Is A Fact! (1992) {Herald}
EAC 1.0b2 | FLAC Image level 6 | Cue+Log | Full Scans 300dpi | 284MB + 5% Recovery
MP3 CBR 320 Kbps | 112MB + 5% Recovery
Genre: Blufunk, Funk, Soul

Blufunk Is a Fact! might qualify as a best of genre purely because Keziah Jones is pretty much a one-person genre who demolishes any preconceptions of what kind of music he might play. Jones is originally from Nigeria, but he's a young singer/songwriter who plays guitar and there are no obvious traces of African music in the material. The lineup of guitar, bass, and drums hints at a power trio with solos, but he plays rhythm almost exclusively and the extremely tight, kinetic rhythm section makes the music sound a bit like Tower of Power without horns. But the songs are way too idiosyncratic to fit any modern R&B/funk formulas – so are song titles like "Frinigro Interstellar," "A Curious Kinda Subconscious," and "Walkin' Naked Thru' a Bluebell Field." His melodies obey their own rules, taking off from the rhythm of his spiky guitar licks like a bluesman, but it sure ain't blues.

Ernie Watts - Sanctuary (1986) {Wounded Bird}

Posted By: tiburon
Ernie Watts - Sanctuary (1986) {Wounded Bird}

Ernie Watts - Sanctuary (1986) {Wounded Bird}
EAC 0.95b3 | FLAC tracks level 8 | Cue+Log+M3U | Full Scans 300dpi | 253MB + 5% Recovery
MP3 CBR 320 Kbps | 90MB + 5% Recovery
Genre: Jazz-Funk, Smooth Jazz

This Qwest project was a typical crossover project for Ernie Watts, who recorded a series of commercial sets for Elektra and Qwest. The rhythms are danceable; Watts displays attractive tones on tenor, alto, and soprano; the supporting cast includes top L.A. studio musicians (who were used to sounding anonymous and playing funk clichés); Don Grusin contributes keyboards and electronic rhythms; among the many vocalists are Larry Williams and Phil Perry; and guitarist Lee Ritenour pops up on a few numbers.

Ernie Watts & Chick Corea - 4Tune (1980) {West Wind}

Posted By: tiburon
Ernie Watts & Chick Corea - 4Tune (1980) {West Wind}

Ernie Watts & Gilberto Gil - Afoxe (1991) {CTI}
EAC 0.99pb4 | FLAC tracks level 8 | Cue+Log+M3U | Full Scans 300dpi | 393MB + 5% Recovery
MP3 CBR 320 Kbps | 158MB + 5% Recovery
Genre: Post-Bop

Originally released on the RealTime label as a double LP, this CD (which contains 11 of the 14 selections) is quite notable for containing some brilliant playing by Ernie Watts (during a period when his own recordings were very commercial). Chick Corea (sticking to acoustic piano) is also in excellent form as are bassist Andy Simpkins and drummer John Dentz (who was the actual leader). Although a few of the shorter numbers have their free moments, the highpoints are "My One and Only Love," "Night and Day," "Invitation," "Blues for John C.," "Bud Powell" and "Oleo," intense straightahead explorations that allow Watts and Corea opportunities to stretch out.

Ernie Watts & Gilberto Gil - Afoxe (1991) {CTI}

Posted By: tiburon
Ernie Watts & Gilberto Gil - Afoxe (1991) {CTI}

Ernie Watts & Gilberto Gil - Afoxe (1991) {CTI}
EAC 1.0b1 | FLAC tracks level 6 | Cue+Log+M3U | Full Scans 300dpi | 334MB + 5% Recovery
MP3 CBR 320 Kbps | 130MB + 5% Recovery
Genre: Jazz, Latin Jazz, Contemporary Jazz

Saxophonist Ernie Watts has sounded equally able and comfortable playing with Cannonball Adderley, the Rolling Stones and the Tonight Show Band. In recent years, Brazilian singer, guitarist and composer Gilberto Gil has brought to bear his knowledge of jazz and Anglo pop and rock to explore Afro-Brazilian music and the cultural legacies of African diaspora. The collaboration doesn't work however. The opening cut, "The Green Giant," is symbolic. Gil talks somberly about Brazil and its troubles over a menacing vamp, but the piece goes on aimlessly until it simply peters out, turning Gil's anger into revolutionary chic. "You are my Thrill," once sang by Billie Holiday, is reprised as sleek R&B, Adult Contemporary radio friendly.

Focus - Focus 8 (2002) {Musea}

Posted By: tiburon
Focus - Focus 8 (2002) {Musea}

Focus - Focus 8 (2002) {Musea}
EAC 0.95b3 | FLAC tracks level 8 | Cue+Log+M3U | Full Scans 200dpi | 392MB + 5% Recovery
MP3 CBR 320 Kbps | 137MB + 5% Recovery
Genre: Progressive Rock

Focus 8 is a fantastic record by Thijs van Leer, Jan Dumée, Bobby Jacobs, and Bert Smaak, the new-millennium version of the band Focus. The instrumentals show real spirit and creativity without the bombast of the 1973 opus "Hocus Pocus," which branded the group forever as "progressive rock." Yes, it is still arty King Crimson meets Jethro Tull stuff, the flute taking even more of the space than an Ian Anderson might grant it, but there is something about this album that takes hold and makes for a surprising listening experience. The quartet somehow keeps the ostentatious aspect of the genre down to a minimum and puts the emphasis on serious explorations of what it does best. For an hour's worth of mostly instrumental prowess, it is quite an achievement.

Frank Briggs - China Ranch (2008) {Robusto}

Posted By: tiburon
Frank Briggs - China Ranch (2008) {Robusto}

Frank Briggs - China Ranch (2008) {Robusto}
EAC 0.99pb4 | FLAC tracks level 6 | Cue+Log+M3U | Scans 600dpi | 491MB + 5% Recovery
MP3 CBR 320 Kbps | 175MB + 5% Recovery
Genre: Fusion

China Ranch is a solid debut that is consistent and filled with memorable tunes and impressive performances that would appeal to a variety of listeners. Briggs' writing admirably balances both melody and progressiveness throughout the recording, including the final track "Saints," where Mitchel Forman's piano and keyboards, Gambale's guitar fireworks and the author's own tremendous drumming all converge in harmony.