"The Most Beautiful Sound Next to Silence"
Steve Wyzard | Lomita, CA | 05/01/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Back in the early 1970's, the ECM Records motto "The Most Beautiful Sound Next to Silence" was never so eloquently captured and epitomized than on this album. It's one of the greatest moments in both Ralph Towner's and Gary Burton's extensive catalogs dating back to the 1960's. Those looking for the avant garde and envelope-pushing sounds found on many other ECM recordings from this time are advised to look elsewhere. This is the peaceful, contemplative "chamber jazz" that made ECM the success story it still is today. From the utter stillness of "Drifting Petals" and "Some Other Time", to the humorous title track (where Towner achieves a fuzzy buzzing sound by inserting a matchbook into his guitar strings on the fretboard), to Oregon covers "Icarus" and "Aurora", to the experimental solo pieces "Brotherhood" and "1 x 6", this album is consistently inspired and has no weak moments. If a quiet Sunday summer afternoon could be set to music, this would be it. For those who want to know what the "ECM sound" is, listen to this magnificent album. Also recommended along the same lines: Chick Corea/Gary Burton's "Crystal Silence"."