K. Swanson | Austin, TX United States | 03/12/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"YeeeeeeeHAW!! It's amusing to think that someone in the industry read my review of Out Of The Woods and agreed that it HAD to be reissued. Better still, they paired it with the only logical album, Roots, which was made shortly after Woods and has very much the same vibe and quality, though not quite as many A-1 tunes. Still, it's a four-star album at least; in fact, when I talked to Oregon's Paul McCandless after a typically splendid Oregon trio show in Berlin in 1997, he said he thought Roots was their second best record, and he might know.
Two of the best albums from modern jazz's most unique group for 17 bucks is a helluva deal; Woods alone is worth 20 bucks (though let's face it, cds are criminally over-priced; I bought these albums new in 1980 for six bucks (the vinyl still sounds more open and real than the cds), and when cds came out in 1984 for 15 bucks, labels claimed that "once we recoup the costs of the disc plants, we'll price them at 7 bucks like vinyl." Yeah, bs!! They still never have, and artists still get the same royalty rate as vinyl...so who gets all the extra cash? Yes, the same scumbag labels who are whining about how cd burning and pirate downloads are "killing music". Bite me! I see more decent local bands than ever now, who survive by pressing their own cds and selling 'em for five or ten bucks and keeping ALL their own money from THEIR own creativity. F the middle man! We no longer need record labels, thanks. Please go curl up in a ball and die. That's what you deserve for not giving bands a chance to develop over time; these daze it's "sell a load or no second album". That attitude would have derailed some of history's greatest bands. Once again: major labels, please die in hell. Thank you very much).
But, I digress...
So yeah, this is what cds should cost, about 7 or 8 bucks a pop. Hope the remaster is as good as the elektra version of Woods from 1992. It IS one of the best-sounding records of any sort ever; I originally discovered it on a tip from a guy in my local audiophile turntable joint in 1980 when I asked for the finest recorded sound he'd ever heard, and he immediately said "Out of the Woods". Thank you brother, wherever you are now! Years of joy from one simple little question.
Btw, these two albums fit exactly onto one cd, if you need to burn a copy for the car...
If you buy these and don't love them, feel free to write me and I'll send you a coupon for a new pair of ears."
Great news: Oregon's Finest 2 albums re-released in a singl
J. Winokur | Denver, CO USA | 08/07/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Knowing almost nothing 25 years ago of this most interesting vein of jazz, I bought Out of the Woods leafing through an jazz LP bin just for fun. as an LP based on its beautiful cover, thinking "If this sounds like how it looks, this will be a find!" It did, and was!
Oregon's musicians are each virtuosos in their own right, and the combination is exhilarating. This group combines Ralph Towner's classical guitar/piano, Collin Walcott's sitar/tabla, Paul McCandless' oboe and other winds, and Glen Moore's fine bass. Their disciplined, complex music shows better than anything I've ever heard that passionate and cerebral are hardly mutually exclusive! Don't dare confuse this with tepid "new age"! This music has far more complexity and fire.
And these two albums, released in close sequence those many years ago, are among Oregon's finest work. Witchi Tai To, from Out of the Woods, is my favorite. Like some other Oregon pieces, it has a rootsy element, and a touch of the sacred, drawing from Native American music, and then stoked by these players -- and especially Walcott's sitar and tabla. Both albums are full of other highlights, strikingly original, challenging and compelling. It was no surprise when, some years after the release of these two albums, Oregon released some albums on the ECM label, which has become the epicenter of so much of this burgeoning, more abstract, cerebral yet passionate "chamber jazz that does not swing." (Perhaps the most celebrated of ECM's early, path-breaking releases in this idiom is the Gary Burton-Chick Corea classic, Crystal Silence. Crystal Silence has spawned a lovely recent release, The New Crystal Silence)
The late Collin Walcott's Sitar/Tabla added intrigue to many earlier Oregon albums. Trilok Gurtu (e.g., Izzat: The Remix Album) subbed, adding a special fire for a few years after Walcott's untimely and tragic death. In 2000, Oregon's music was given an enthusiastic orchestral adaptation in a memorable two-disk collection performed by Oregon with the Moscow Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra. Oregon in Moscow (The Burton-Corea, New Crystal Silence release, noted above, resonates with this unique Oregon release in using the symphonic setting for one of its 2 discs.) Otherwise, while lacking the eastern cast Walcott and then Gurtu injected with sitar and tabla, Oregon has become an extraordinary quartet with the addition of drummer percussionist Mark Walker. All Oregon albums are thrilling, but for me these are the best of the best!
Do buy this for great music, but not for sonic upgrade
oregonian | Kingston, NY USA | 06/30/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Everybody should know by now how great these records are. I own the Discovery-issued of each, and bought this on the promise/assumption of better sound...I personally don't feel that the sound is better. In fact I don't believe I can discern any real difference(s). If you own the earlier issue, you might still buy this to satisfy your curiousity, and then I suggest doing the right thing: give it away to turn someone on to this great music."