Oregon are one of the first and greatest groups to give birth to the world jazz sound. Some of the principal members of the group met at the University of Oregon, but it was another 10 years before they'd release their first album. The Oregon sound downplays the traditional influence of swing and rhythm and blues in jazz, but retains the jazz emphasis on improvisation. Founding member Collin Walcott died in a car accident in 1984, causing the group to temporarily disband before he was replaced by percussionist Trilok Gurtu.
"You don't have to go out and get this music; it washes over you and sweeps you up in the elevated creative process that is Oregon...Oregon is lit up with incandescence on Beyond Words...Oregon albums, always the same and always different, are among the things in this life of which there cannot be too many." - Thomas Conrad, Stereophile, February 1996
"These guys have got the real chops...Because you are in the presence of three guys with ferocious musical talent, every track offers something of value tonally, rhythmically, or compositionally." - The Tracking Angle, Winter 1995/96
"After the onslaught of the neo-conservative jazz records of the last few years I found it refreshing to wallow in the unrepentant New Age/Folk/Jazz/whatever 'fusion' of Oregon's latest recording Beyond Words. We're not talking turgid Windham Hill ear candy fusion-these cats can play there's 25 years of group chemistry and musicianship on display here." - Steve Marks, Bass Frontiers, 1995