A Winter Solstice Reunion
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A Winter Solstice Reunion by Various
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You know this winter "reunion" is going to be a good one when Hawaiian slack-key guitar great Keola Beamer opens it with a stunning original, "Keiki's Dream." Reassembling the artists who defined the Windham Hill sound, Reunion features pianist Liz Story arranging the Spanish traditional "Babe Is Born" for solo piano, Windham vet Alex DeGrassi bringing his graceful acoustic guitar work to bear on "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear," and capo William Ackermann rolling out his trademark steel-string arpeggios on a pensive, minor-key original, "Impending Death of the Virgin Spirit." The man who put Windham Hill on the map, pianist George Winston, contributes a lovely reading of Alfred Burt's "What Are the Signs," and fretless bass wonder Michael Manring tickles the ivories as well as bass on a circumspect "Year's End." More about the symbolism of the winter season than the joy of Christmas, Reunion is classic Windham Hill, meditative and a bit melancholy. Also features Mike Marshall, Ben Verdery, Paul McCandless, and others. --James Rotondi
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P.S. Would the party who stole the copy of December from my vehicle and left behind the CD case please return the CD?
My favorite cuts from this album include the cover of "I Saw Three Ships," a carol introduced to my by Nat King Cole; "Year's End" from Michael Manring; and what Winter Solstice album would be complete without George Winston with "What Are The Signs."
The one cut I don't care for is the contribution of Tuck and Patti with "Christmas Wish." I don't hate the song, but it ruins the mood for me.
In short, if you like Windham Hill artists, you will like this seasonal contribution.
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