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MOON AND MIND

Oregon

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Mmmmm....divine. 4.25 stars.

"Moon Over Mind" may be in the jazz/fusion category but is not exactly typical of most other groups in the genre. Led by guitarist Ralph Towner, Oregon has had quite a career exploring their own unique and vibrant sound.

This album features a quiet, acoustic, contemplative sound with earthy world-fusion music influences. They occasionally remind me of Third Ear Band in certain rhythm sections but they don't really mimic other bands in their sound. Expect to hear lots of interesting things here: 12-string guitar, dulcimer, tabla, piano, oboe, clarinet, sitar, bass, classical guitar, flute, conga, and organ. No vocals. The title track is an 8 minute dance between the piano and oboe, just lovely. "Gloria's Step" is a delightful acoustic guitar solo piece. Many of the songs on this album are musical duets; they feature two musicians soloing off each other. Dancing really is a good metaphor for the approach they employ here. What I like about the playing is that this isn't just a lot of technical wankery, instead the players are more concerned with where they are taking us.

The music is never rushed and it doesn't rock so this may bore you if you're looking for heavy fusion jamming. Meditative would be a more appropriate word to describe the mood here. Beautiful, spacious, perfect music for watching a sunset with drinks and a significant other. I like it very much and I'm not even a big jazz nut. The cover art nicely represents the music. It is exploratory, like looking out the window to the heavens and seeing something nearly indescribable. Very good stuff.

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Posted Saturday, June 02, 2007 | Review Permalink

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