With its combination of simple beauty and elegant intricacy, Oregon's Beyond Words truly is. This time out, the three surviving original members of Oregon perform as a drummerless trio, handling a variety of compositions old and new, primarily from the pen of Ralph Towner. Towner's multi-instrumental versatility highlights and undergirds the proceedings, with his beautiful classical and 12-string guitar work especially satisfying. Paul McCandless delivers his usual flawless performance on an amazing variety of woodwinds. The interplay between his bass clarinet and Glen Moore's restored 1715 Klotz bass is superb on "Pepé Linque" and "Sicilian Walk." Towner's classic "The Silence of a Candle," first recorded on the landmark Icarus with the Paul Winter Consort, is reprised here, as are several other Oregon standards, including "Witchi-Tai-To." The only weak moments come in the set-closing "Silver Suite," which meanders aimlessly at times. Other than that, this is an album filled with gorgeous, multi-dimensional music played by a trio of inspired virtuosos.
Beyond Words Review
by Jim Newsom