My Foolish Heart: Ralph Towner

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5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Ralph Towner
ALBUM TITLE: Ralph Towner
WORKS: My Foolish Heart
PERFORMER: Ralph Towner (guitar)
CATALOGUE NO: 571 4582


Despite being unfailingly modest in citing his influences and his presence in the jazz racks notwithstanding, guitarist Ralph Towner’s originality and genre-transcending approach remain unique; if posterity brings any justice he should also have a place alongside Henze and Brouwer as the inventor of a unique language for the guitar. His style is a synthesis of several idioms including classical, jazz and various indigenous traditions, although the latter are thoroughly transformed and condensed into allusive references that defy identification.

All these elements reach a new level of concentration in this uplifting album, which is a sequence of aphoristic near-miniatures that clocks in perfectly at LP length, thus placing artistic judgment ahead of the tyranny of overstuffed CD duration. Combining unforced lyricism with an unpredictable yet perfect sense of logic and recorded with both warmth and clarity, this is captivating from start to finish.

Roger Thomas


Listen to an excerpt from this recording here.