Oregonia is a project involved with playing the compositions of Paul McCandless, Ralph Towner and friends who forged a unique, modern Jazz language. The group Oregon, formed in 1970 as an offshoot of the Paul Winter Consort, is still touring and recording today. The original band with Glen Moore, bass, and Colin Walcott, percussion and sitar, preserved a love for classical music, world music, and a fresh resonant harmonic pallet with lyrical, intricate melodies. Add a chamber music instrumentation with acoustic guitar, oboe, bass clarinet, violin, some hip electronics and tabla - this is vintage Oregon.
Art Lande (piano) got to know the Oregon folks in 1974 and has performed and loved this music, especially along with Paul McCandless. John Gunther (woodwinds) and Tim Wendel (electric guitar) are fairly new to a lot of this music, which is exciting for all of us. John's melodic soul on soprano sax, clarinet and flute is supported by his rich sound. Tim brings a spacious, inventive sense of harmony and a patient yet edgy development of ideas. With Art's varied and quirky piano, the band brings the music forward with a different sound and sensibility.
Like Oregon, the group's focus is on improvisation, encouraged by beautiful compositions (we include some by vibist Dave Samuels and guitarist Ross Trout - Oregon friends) and intriguing forms. From a legacy of Wayne Shorter, Chick Corea, Pat Metheny, Fred Hersch and the German label ECM that Art recorded for from 1974 -1987, this hopeful, heartful and sometimes mysterious music continues with Oregonia.
As we get deeper into the music we will invite Paul McCandless as a guest on soprano sax and bass clarinet - He loves the idea of this project and wants to play his compositions with us when we are ready.
In a difficult time on earth, we hope this music will be helpful, encouraging a positive spirit in the ears and hearts of the listeners.