Oregon (2)In Performance
June / July 1980
Note: For this and other "doing-it-for-money" reviews, db used the pseudonym 'Spottswood Erving,' referencing basketball legend Julius "Dr. J" Erving as well as American civil rights attorney and federal judge, Spottswood William Robinson III, appointed by President Johnson in 1966 to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the first African American so appointed.
by Spottswood Erving
At the start of the second disc of this live double LP, George Shultz, Oregon’s manager, asks the audience, “How do you like it so far?” “Not so much,” I remarked to my speakers, and sides three and four did little to change my opinion. The playing here is faultless, yet somehow facile; dreamy, yet somehow indigenously platitudinous. Oregon went a long way toward creating these forms, but they increasingly sound like their own clichés. On the plus side, there are some fine examples of their quirky, chameleon-like, and even humorous free playing. But on the whole, In Performance is guilty of the weightlessly lyrical and now-tired romanticism their last studio album, Roots In The Sky, so successfully avoided.