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Straight No Chaser - A Jazz Show

Welcome to Straight No Chaser, the Award-winning Podcast hosted by Jeffrey Siegel

Dec 27, 2023

On Part Two of our conversation, guitarist Ralph Towner talks about his growth as a guitarist from his early days playing trumpet and piano, through his time with influential bands like the Paul Winter Consort and Oregon, and then his many solo, duo and trio recordings. We talk about his work with Wolfgang Muthspeil and Slava Grigoryan (From a Dream and Travel Guide in 2008 and 2013) as well as his favorite duo recordings, especially those with bassist Gary Peacock. We also discuss some of his other collaborations, including his brief brush performing with Weather Report in 1972.

At First Light is Ralph’s 25th ECM album as  leader or co-leader, and his latest solo guitar release. Besides those prior releases, he has guested on important ECM albums by Keith Jarrett, Jan Garbarek, and Kenny Wheeler.

Never one to be pigeon-holed as an interpreter and composer of a specific type of music, At First Light  features new and old Towner pieces, as well as tunes from Broadway musicals and the much-covered Irish traditional air “Danny Boy.” Ralph also looks back on older pieces he has revisited on the album, especially “Guitarra Picante,” a piece originally from the Oregon songbook.