Oregon in Moscow

Going Home: A Tribute to Duke EllingtonWith the Moscow Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra
Oregon in Moscow
(Intuition – 2000)
by Ricky Miller

This extraordinary performance was recorded in June of 1999, but it is timeless. How do you describe it, Lush? Lavish? This is a celebration of music that is full of beauty, grace and finesse. After three decades of making music Ralph Towner, Glen Moore and Paul McCandless (supported by the outstanding percussionist Mark Walker) have realized an ambitious project which they had often thought about: an OREGON album accompanied by a symphony orchestra.

This turned out to be a task none too easy. Even though Oregon had performed with orchestral accompaniment on several occasions in the course of the band’s long career, recording with an orchestra proved to be a real challenge to the coordination skills of everybody involved. After all, you can’t just hop on the next best airplane, grab any old orchestra on arrival, rent an appropriate (!) studio and start recording. After a long search and several dead-end plans, Moscow was finally chosen – more specifically, the ”Great Symphony Orchestra of Moscow Radio in the Name of Tchaikovsky”, and the musically exemplary State Recording House of the GDRZ. Here,

in June 1999, the 15 tracks of this double-album were recorded in just six days of recording. These tracks represent excerpts from the entire musical history of the band Oregon. This album was recorded strictly simultaneously, meaning that the band and the orchestra faced each other in the recording room and played the songs together. No overdubbing each other, no faking a relationship that wasn’t there; just recording and mixing with the highest standards of quality. In this respect, ”Oregon in Moscow” combines the best qualities of a live recording with those of a studio production.