Live at Yoshi's

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Oregon's storied past and relevance to jazz cannot be undermined. In addition, this outing signifies only the band's third live recording to coincide with its 30-year legacy. Besides Oregon's somewhat organic approach to jazz or world jazz, drummer Mark Walker adds pop, dazzle, and polyrhythmic fury to the ensemble's often-emotively actualized songbook. Guitarist Ralph Towner augments the overall tonal palate with synths on several pieces, while all of the instrumentalists get equal opportunities to stretch their wares. Beautifully recorded, the artists' well-placed dynamics and intuitive exchanges come to fruition once again. They explore swing grooves and perky rhythmic structures amid woodwind ace Paul McCandless' customary insertions of wistful themes and touching interludes. No major surprises here, but a first-rate effort that should appease the band's longtime admirers. (Recommended.)

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