Ralph Towner & Oceanus

If you’ve been following my fake jazz album cover goof, you know I like to post poor photos and say, “Hey, look! It’s a jazz album cover!” Actually, I’m making fun of the ECM label, where the typical album cover looks like this one below. However, my satire is affectionate, because I like almost all the music they put out. This is from Solstice (1975).

The guitarist and composer Ralph Towner can easily take a turn into New Agey stuff that is not my bag at all, but when he doesn’t he can make some beautiful, contemplative, ECM-style jazz. The musicians he’s got collected here are definitely helping to make that happen. Jan Garbarek (sax), Eberhard Weber (bass and cello), Jon Christensen (drums).

I really like Christenson’s drumming on this, which manages to be driving and have a real light touch at the same time, and he holds it down solid all the way through. Great texture here. The nasal wail of Jan Garabek’s saxophone sometimes gets on my nerves, but here it works just fine for me.