Travel Guide

Ralph Towner, Wolfgang Muthspiel, Slava Grigoryan

EN / DE

An international summit meeting, “Travel Guide” features US guitarist Ralph Towner, Austrian guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel, and Kazakhstan-born and Australia-raised guitarist Slava Grigoryan. The three musicians first came together in 2005, initially for concerts in Australia, and have since toured widely. A 2009 recording on Muthspiel’s Material Records label documented the group’s early progress. Ralph Towner subsequently brought the project to ECM and the trio recorded this album in Lugano in August 2012, with Manfred Eicher as producer. Towner has been a key ECM recording artist for more than 40 years, while Muthspiel and Grigoryan make label debuts here. Grigoryan is well known as the preeminent Australian classical guitarist of his generation, and Muthspiel’s been an important figure on the transatlantic jazz scene for two decades, with his own bands and as a contributor to groups of Gary Burton, Paul Motian and many others. What all three guitarists share is a strong feeling for structure, a sense for lyrical improvisation and a feeling for space, harnessing instrumental technique to very graceful musical ends. Repertoire features five compositions by Towner, and five by Muthspiel.

Ein internationales Gipfeltreffen der Gitarristen: Auf Travel Guide treffen der US-Amerikaner Ralph Towner, der Österreicher Wolfgang Muthspiel und der in Kasachstan geborene, aber in Australien aufgewachsene Slava Grigoryan aufeinander. Die drei Musiker hatten sich erstmals 2005, ursprünglich für Konzerte in Australien, zusammengetan und waren seitdem ausgiebig zusammen auf Tour. Eine 2009 auf Muthspiels Label Material Records veröffentlichte Aufnahme dokumentierte die frühen Arbeiten der Gruppe. Ralph Towner brachte das Projekt dann zu ECM. Das vorliegende Album nahm das Trio mit Manfred Eicher als Produzent im August 2012 in Lugano auf. Towner gehört seit mehr als 40 Jahren zu den Schlüsselfiguren unter den für ECM aufnehmenden Musikern, während Muthspiel und Grigoryan hier ihre ECM-Debüts geben. Grigoryan gilt als der herausragende Klassikgitarrist seiner Generation in Australien. Muthspiel ist seit mehr als zwanzig Jahren eine wichtige Figur in der internationalen Jazzszene, sowohl mit seinen eigenen Bands als auch durch seine Mitwirkung in den Gruppen von Gary Burton, Paul Motian und vielen anderen. Allen drei Gitarristen gemeinsam ist ein waches Gefühl für musikalische Strukturen, für lyrische Improvisation und ein besonderes Gespür den Raum. Das Repertoire auf diesem Album umfasst jeweils fünf Kompositionen von Towner und von Muthspiel.
Featured Artists Recorded

August 2012, Auditorio RSI - Radio Svizzera, Lugano

  • 1The Henrysons
    (Wolfgang Muthspiel)
    07:04
  • 2Father Time
    (Ralph Towner)
    04:37
  • 3Windsong
    (Wolfgang Muthspiel)
    06:43
  • 4Duende
    (Ralph Towner)
    04:29
  • 5Amarone Trio
    (Wolfgang Muthspiel)
    05:42
  • 6Travel Guide
    (Ralph Towner)
    06:34
  • 7Die blaue Stunde
    (Wolfgang Muthspiel)
    05:19
  • 8Nico und Mithra
    (Wolfgang Muthspiel)
    03:44
  • 9Tarry
    (Ralph Towner)
    01:03
  • 10Museum of Light
    (Ralph Towner)
    05:17
This story of three guitar players – from the US, Austria and Kazakhstan – begins in Australia. Ralph Towner and Wolfgang Muthspiel were on tour there, as solo performers, when they crossed paths with Slava Grigoryan. Grigoryan, aware that both Towner’s and Muthspiel’s improvising was influenced by classical playing experience as well as jazz suggested a three-way collaboration. A first tour, in 2005, presented the three of them as soloists, then in duets and finally in trio. After the first few concerts, Muthspiel has reported, they felt very much like a band, and they have continued to play together each year, further developing the group concept. In 2009, the group’s early progress was documented on the album From A Dream, released by Muthspiel’s own Material Records label.

Ralph Towner subsequently brought the project to ECM, and the trio recorded this album in Lugano in August 2012, with Manfred Eicher as producer. Towner has been a key ECM recording artist for more than 40 years, while Muthspiel and Grigoryan, distinguished musicians both, make their label debuts here. Grigoryan is well known as the preeminent Australian classical guitarist of his generation, and Muthspiel’s been an important figure on the transatlantic jazz scene for two decades, with his own bands and as a contributor to groups of Gary Burton, Paul Motian and many others. What all three guitarists share is a strong feeling for structure, a sense for lyrical improvisation and also for space. There is none of the competitive display common to instrumental summit meetings: at all moments the players harness instrumental technique to very graceful musical ends. The repertoire of Travel Guide features five compositions by Towner, and five by Muthspiel.
YEAR DATE VENUE LOCATION
2024 March 02 Cafe Oto London, United Kingdom Canceled
2024 March 03 Cafe Oto London, United Kingdom Canceled
2024 March 05 Orpheum Graz, Austria Canceled
2024 March 07 Porgy & Bess Vienna, Austria Canceled
2024 March 08 tba Salzburg, Austria Canceled
2024 March 10 Kultur Im Esel e.V. Einbeck, Germany Canceled
2024 March 13 JazzArtFestival - Kunsthalle Würth Schwäbisch Hall, Germany Canceled