Breakfast In The Field by Michael Hedges
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Released in 1981, Breakfast in the Field
was part of the thrilling, early '80s rollout of "new acoustic" music unveiled by Windham Hill Records founder Will Ackerman
, where each new release and new artist seemed to yield something revelatory. The startling uniqueness of guitarist Michael Hedges's imagination and style, however, was not fully recognized until he introduced a host of tradition-jarring innovations (unexpected tunings, tappings, and rhythmic slaps) on the magnificent Aerial Boundaries
three years later. Here, on just the 13th recording to carry the Windham Hill logo, the 28-year-old Hedges involves himself more with straightforward finger-picking technique--which is dazzling--and more of the peaceful, pastoral sound typically associated with early Windham Hill releases. On these terms, the disc (at a brief, vinyl-era 34 minutes) is a quiet, elegant jewel, adorned with endearing melodies ("Eleven Small Roaches," "The Unexpected Visitor"), astonishing displays of nimbleness ("Peg Leg Speed King," "Silent Anticipations"), and hints of quirkiness to come ("The Funky Avocado"). Bassist Michael Manring contributes to several tracks and even pianist George Winston
, fresh off the release of Autumn
and spurred by the team-spirit togetherness of early Windham Hill, lends a few notes to the reflective concluding track, "Lenono." --Terry Wood