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Sound of Wind Driven Rain

4.5 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 24, 1998
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Editorial Reviews

A classic album for any collection.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 24, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Windham Hill Records
  • ASIN: B000005ZJZ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,773 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on June 9, 2001
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I've rocked my baby to sleep everynight with CD, the music is beautiful and moves me to tears--there is something very poignant about it, it makes me believe in the gentle rightness of the world, just before drifting into the nightime hours, when doubt and fear can crop up, this music fills me with peace.
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By A Customer on August 24, 1999
Format: Audio CD
The time William Ackerman spent making this new album was well worth it. "Sound of Wind Driven Rain" is a moving and haunting album. It comes across not so much as a collection of unrelated songs but as a cohesive musical portrait. Ackerman's composition style is gentle and inviting, and solo guitar tracks are interspersed with numerous collaborations with other musicians, all of them excellent. From Charlie Bisharat's lyrical and flowing violins on "Driving" (one of the best songs on the album) to Paul McCandless's welcome english horn on "Pontchartrain" to Samite's vocals on the lullaby "A Child's Song" (and others), the musical colors on this disc are varied and exciting. Ackerman's solo tracks show just what an expressive and insightful guitarist and composer he is. Give a good listen to the title track, which somehow manages to perfectly capture the essence of the words "Sound of Wind Driven Rain." Ackerman just keeps getting better over the years, and this album is a perfect introduction to his body of work as well as an important listen for dedicated fans.
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Format: Audio CD
I was taken by Mr. Ackerman's playing in a Windham Hill Christmas CD. This CD carries Mr. Ackerman's style and sound with minimal accompaniment - very full and natural one can hear the overtones of his guitar. I play this album during Fall and winter seasons as it has that melancholy flavor a fitting backdrop of Seattle. This recording is very clean, clear, natural,full,and melodious. WHEN IS THE FOLLOW UP SCHEDULED TO COME OUT !!!!
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Format: Audio CD
On this work, Ackerman's latest, he continues his practice of mixing some solo guitar efforts with duets and ensemble arrangements as well as a first -- three songs with vocals ("A Child's Song" / "Hawk Circle" / "Sound of Wind Driven Rain"). Musically it pretty much falls into the same vein as his previous few releases such as "Imaginary Roads" and "The Opening of Doors."
Particular highlights on this CD include "Driving Fast" (the most upbeat of the songs on the CD, with some interesting accompaniment by Charles Bisharat on violin, and Michael Manring on bass), the title track, and an extended re-working (clocking in at over 9 minutes) of "Hawk Circle", this time featuring additional guitar-work, drums and rainstick, with vocals (the original "Hawk Circle" arrangement on his "Passage" release featured the piano of George Winston).
My only criticism of the CD is that it needs at least a couple more faster or more aggressive tempo songs than just the aforementioned "Driving Fast" -- granted, William Ackerman has pretty much left the folk-music style in which he worked early in his musical career, but the mostly slow, quieter arrangements on this CD could use a little spicing up.
Although I hate the term "New Age Music" as a style categorization, as most people define it the music here falls into the category -- relatively soft, predominantly instrumental music.
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Format: Audio CD
This is the album that broke the six year long hiatus that came after the poor reception for Opening of Doors (I'm not counting the 1993 Retrospective). One could tell at that time that Ackerman was looking for a new creative direction. I felt that, in dedicating himself almost entirely to ensemble playing he had somehow lost connection to the instrument that had made all his success possible. I'm sure he would argue with me about that, but 1992 was not a very good year for the musician.

Sound of Wind Driven Rain makes up for all of that. It is a quiet, introspective album full of genuine improvisation. There are other musicians involved, but Ackerman is back in front, taking his time, making music. There's something melancholy to this album (Lion's In The Sky, for example). Perhaps the guitarist is saying goodbye to some things as he moves forward.

There is much that is exquisite here - the delicacy of Unconditional, the gentle flow of the Sheila's Pictures, the melodic work of I Know this River. Ackerman has always preferred the light touch of clear finger work on a smaller guitar to bravura playing, and Sound of Wind Driven Rain is a perfect example of this. It invites the listener to dive deep instead of skimming the surface. Listen also for the use of voices (Sound of Wind Driven Rain, Hawk Circle, and A Child's Song) that presages Ackerman's next effort, Hearing Voices.

I really like this album. It may not be his very best, but it contains a lot of very good music. Like any strong musician, Ackerman takes risks and rarely these fall a bit short. But it is very good indeed to have Will Ackerman back playing at full creative strength.
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Format: Audio CD
In the same vain as George Winston's December CD, Ackerman strings together a number of songs that create a unified whole. The melodies bring color and reflection, and although not as sparse as Winston's piano notes, Ackerman's guitar work is clean and precise. The production is exceptional, and there is just enough variety of accompanyment to make this an enjoyable listen. Samite's instrumental voice is soothing and monk-like, a nice addition to three pieces. Ackerman doesn't feel the need to break up the atmosphere with fast paced songs, which I'm grateful for. For the contemplative.
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