Ralph Towner and Paolo Fresu: Chiaroscuro

Album review
Ralph Towner and Paolo Fresu: Chiaroscuro

Ralph Towner and Paolo Fresu

Chiaroscuro

Label: ECM
Media: CD
Genre: Jazz
Ratings:
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This exquisite duo recording pairs one of ECM Records’ veterans with one of its rising stars. Sixty-nine-year-old American guitarist Towner made his ECM debut in 1972 after co-founding the pioneering world-fusion band Oregon. Forty-eight- year-old Sardinian trumpeter Fresu garnered widespread attention when Carla Bley featured him on 2007’s The Lost Chords Find Paolo Fresu. Their collaboration is rooted in a piece Towner composed 15 years ago for a Sardinian ensemble featuring Fresu. That tune, “Punta Giara,” reappears here along with five other Towner originals, the Miles Davis/ Bill Evans classic “Blue in Green,” and a pair of improvisations. Every track shows off Fresu’s facility with melody, often extrapolated into long lines that echo but rarely repeat themselves. Whether playing flugelhorn or trumpet (open and muted), his tone is a lustrous amalgam of mercury and butter, gliding gorgeously through the bright-edged chords and arpeggios that Towner executes with stunning precision on classical, baritone, and 12- string guitars. Crystalline sonics bring nylon, steel, wood, and brass into full three-dimensional presence with a cozy warmth that belies ECM’s reputation for North European coolness, as well as the razor-sharp clarity and spaciousness that have made ECM an audio standard- bearer since 1969. 

More Info

Contributors:
  • primary artist, Ralph Towner and Paolo Fresu
Purchase:
  • CD

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