I saw Towner, Taylor and Maria pia de Vito at a local venue recently: a relaxed, jazz-cafe type atmostphere with at the most 100 people there. Like the majority of the audience, I was drawn to the gig by my knowledge of Ralph Towner whose music I have always found intriguing - if rather harsh - but found myself going away thinking far more of the ensemble as a whole, and especially Maria. It's so refreshing to see someone with such a highly skilled and well-trained voice using it in a new and imaginitive manner without in any way seeming 'above' the jazz genre. The mix of styles and the coliding of imagination was really something - with techniques such as threading paper between the guitar strings, or plucking the piano strings used to great effect without seeming at all cheesy or out of place. The concert was amazing, and whilst there is no replacement for hearing them live, the CD really does do the performance justice in as good as way as can be expected. Prepare to be inspired!