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on May 26, 2003
This 2-CD set offers a sampling of the innovative and varied work of saxophonist Paul winter, the Paul Winter Consort, and various colleagues they've recorded with through the decades. The collection itself is well-chosen and well-arranged, with a wonderful energy about it that builds and carries, sings and soars, and constantly reinvents itself. Elements of jazz, ethnic and chamber music blend into styles all their own, defying categorization to the point that new terms have had to be invented over the years for the Winter consort's repertoire, such as "world chamber music" and "cathedral blues". What I like most about Paul Winter's recordings are the seamless combinations of instruments and sounds from strikingly different cultures and musical styles. I mean, where else can you hear a trio for Uilleann pipes, soprano saxophone and the pipe organ of the world's largest cathedral? An unlikely combination, and yet it works beautifully in the hands of these talented improvisational masters, sensitive enough both to their own instruments and to each other's that they are easily able to stretch limits and blur boundaries. On these recordings, many other instrumentalists mix and match their talents as well: players of jazz staples like guitar, piano, bass and drums; classical masters of cello, flute, oboe and French horn; vocalists; and players of bansuri flute, tanpura, and an array of world percussion. The most unusual of all the musical collaborators would have to be the whales and wolves, whose recorded voices don't just add background ambience but actually create melodies to which harmony, descant and rhythm are then added for a truly unique and pleasing effect. It is amazing how well Winter's fluid soprano saxophone can mimic and complement the calls of both animals. Ultimately, however, this is not music that merely seeks to be unusual; it is eminently listenable--ranging in tone from rousingly joyous to calming and gently transporting. Even better, these are musical compositions--constantly adding layers and moods, blending new elements in and out, never just boring repetitions of simple riffs and phrases. Do yourself a favor and check out Paul Winter and friends! They are masters of their craft, continually forging new frontiers. This collection of their work is a good place to start; it has power, depth, and will surely whet your appetite for more!
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on October 12, 2012
The rich sound of Paul Winter is now a memory I can listen to again and again, thanks to this album release. It's been 40 years since I first heard the opening chords of Icarus and the effect is the same. This two CD set is a must for Paul Winter fans. Thanks!
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on May 20, 1999
If you are looking for your soul this is the music you must listen to
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on October 9, 2006
As a fellow composer, performer and musician, I am deeply moved by your marvelous works. They no doubt come from deep within your soul just as all great artists have discovered as they followed their hearts. I commend your efforts and wish you every success.

Jim Jenkins

The Lotus Co.

Seattle, WA
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on April 4, 2015
paul Winter is the BEST.
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on June 22, 2009
My Malamute loves his work. He howls with enjoyment. We specifically bought this because our dog kept howling in the middle of the night when the new wave music channel played the songs.
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on January 12, 2015
wasn't exactly what I expected, but still there's some nice pieces on it
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