Live Version from 1970“Icarus” features Ralph Towner on guitar, Paul Winter on soprano sax, Paul McCandless on double reeds, Glen Moore on bass, David Darling on ‘cello, and Colin Walcott on percussion.
Although composed by a guitarist, the song’s finest points are the ‘cello and the reeds. What a great instrumental and perfect for a Mélange Monday.
Studio Version from 1972
In 1972, the band recorded a studio version of what would be one of their signature tunes with the same personnel with the exception of Herb Buscher on bass.
“Icarus,” written by guitarist Ralph Towner, is the title cut of the album of same name. Like the album “Road,” “Icarus” opens the LP.
Ralph Towner’s Solo Version
Since I was a fan of the music of the ECM record label out of Germany, I was constantly buying product from this label for my jazz show in the late 70s. Ralph Towner’s solo recording was my introduction to “Icarus.” Knowledge of the Paul Winter Consort came at the hands of my friend Jon Weiner who plays ‘cello.
From his 1974 release “Diary,” Towner plays all of the instruments and piano becomes the lead instrument of choice replacing the ‘cello and the reeds of the Paul Winter Consort versions. It is nice – and this morning was the first time I’ve listened to this version since the 70s. I forgot how good it was.