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1000 Kilometers by Oregon

The renowned band’s second release for this record label is a tribute to its European booking agent Thomas Stowsand, who passed away on October 5, 2006. In fact, he was considered an "honorary member." To that end, the musicians most notably gave it their all here. Sure enough, it’s one of Oregon’s finest albums in years, which might loom as a rather bold statement given its voluminous discography.

Mark Walker handles the percussion duties on this multifaceted set which symbolizes the band’s signature sound amid nicely arranged fusions of chamber, jazz and world music motifs. The classic Oregon vibe is intact via Paul McCandless’ somber oboe lines and the band’s endearing storylines that are often firmed-up with enchanting melodies. But they rev it up on various pieces engineered with peppy percussion grooves, buoyant jazz-folk phrasings and thought-provoking thematic episodes.

Acoustic guitar great Ralph Towner switches over to piano within various movements, where the band generally works through climactically-oriented arrangements. On "Simons," McCandless’ drifting soprano sax lines tell the tale of a faraway land, underscored by Towner’s supple guitar voicings and Walker’s gentle use of small percussion implements. Vivid imagery is abundant. However, Glen Moore stretches out during the zesty bass-driven groove "Back Pocket." And one of the many highlights of this disc is Towner’s piano-led Bolero type progression "The Bactrian," nicely contrasted by McCandless’ lower-register accompaniment. There you have it: A fantastically moving musical event, but should we expect anything less? Perhaps not....

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Oregon
  • CD Title: 1000 Kilometers
  • Genre: Various Jazz Styles
  • Year Released: 2007
  • Record Label: Cam Jazz
  • Musicians: Paul McCandless (oboe, English horn, bass clarinet, Soprano saxophone), Ralph Towner (classical guitar, synthesizer guitar, piano, keyboards), Glen Moore (double bass), Mark Walker (drums, percussion)
  • Rating: Five Stars
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