Search - George Winston :: Plains

George Winston
Genres: Jazz, New Age, Pop
  •  Track Listings (18) - Disc #1

Having exhausted the seasons and then dallying with Vince Guaraldi's music on Linus & Lucy, pianist George Winston returns to a favorite field of exploration, American landscapes. He started out with Forest in 1994 and now...  more »


CD Details

All Artists: George Winston
Title: Plains
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 5
Label: Windham Hill Records
Original Release Date: 9/28/1999
Release Date: 9/28/1999
Album Type: Extra tracks, Limited Edition
Genres: Jazz, New Age, Pop
Styles: Meditation, Instrumental, Adult Contemporary, Adult Alternative
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 019341146520

Having exhausted the seasons and then dallying with Vince Guaraldi's music on Linus & Lucy, pianist George Winston returns to a favorite field of exploration, American landscapes. He started out with Forest in 1994 and now returns with Plains, his first new album in three years. Inspired largely by the open spaces of Montana where he grew up, Plains nevertheless mixes in traditional Irish and Hawaiian traditional, as well as standards from Sammy Cahn and Chet Atkins. Always an astute listener, Winston also finds contemporary gems from Angelo Badalamenti and Sarah McLachlan. Winston has two styles. One is the open, flowing liquid drops of sound heard on his original compositions that have made him a favorite since his Windham Hill debut, Autumn; the other is a rootsy Americana. Winston is competent and sincere, but undistinguished in the latter terrain, playing Cahn's "Teach Me Tonight" like any number of long-forgotten cocktail lounge pianists. But on originals like "Rainsong," "Cloudburst," and "Plains," Winston's piano rings out like an echo from the big sky. A special limited edition of the disc includes two songs on acoustic guitar. --John Diliberto

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Member CD Reviews

Donna T. from APO, AE
Reviewed on 11/1/2013...
Anything of George Winston is a friend of mine.
Bruce C. (theologian) from MOUNT SIDNEY, VA
Reviewed on 10/29/2010...
Being raised on the Plains in the Midwest in a family that had a listening ear for the heartbeat of the Plains I found this album of Winston very special. I also was delighted when I first listened to it not expecting to hear the mood of the Plains done so well. If you have not experienced the mood of the Pains personally this album may not evoke the same feelings, but it will definitely be a great album to come alongside you as you relax and listen for the soft voices of hundreds of years of simple earthy living in a land that stretches as far as one can see.
Cathy V. (CathyV) from JUPITER, FL
Reviewed on 3/21/2010...
I pulled this out this weekend -- for some quiet piano music, and was charmed all over again by George Winston. It is unfortunate that it is labelled "New Age" because it doesn't express the charm or breadth of his music. He does interpretations of eclectic compositions by others, including hawaiin music, country music (such as The Dance) as well as his own compositions. Lovely.
Lisa K. (gr8tchr4u) from VANCOUVER, WA
Reviewed on 9/26/2006...
Nice piano solos. Some familiar tunes, some personalized variations.

CD Reviews

From Solo Piano Publications
Kathy Parsons | Florence, OR United States | 05/06/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I'm very late in writing a review of George Winston's latest album for the simple reason that I was very disappointed in his 1994 release, "Forest", and didn't expect much from "Plains". Lowered expectations can be very helpful at times, as I found "Plains" to be a very pleasant surprise. Winston isn't breaking any new ground here, but the selection of pieces is a blending of his original music and covers from a diverse group of sources including Hawaiian slack key guitar, Philip Aaberg, Chet Atkins, and Sarah McLachlan. Winston often claims to be a "folk musician", and this album seems to be more clearly in that direction than some of his previous releases. In keeping with the title of the album, many of the pieces have that open expansive feel that Winston is so good at without some of the repetition that drives me nuts on some earlier work ("Okay! We get it! Let's get onto another note! "). This collection also contains some bluesier work that Winston is noted for in concert but hasn't been recorded much.Of the original pieces, I like "Rainsong (Fortune's Lullaby)" the best. The introduction sets an introspective tone, and then the flowing main part of the song comes in - gently rolling and easy-going. "Plains (Eastern Montana Blues)" is also especially nice with lots of open space between the phrases of the melody. Though not particularly bluesy, there is a melancholy mood. On second thought, maybe this IS the blues out on the plains with nothing and no one around.Winston makes no bones about his admiration for Phil Aaberg's music (I'm a big fan, too!), and while he does an admirable cover of Aaberg's "Before Barbed Wire", Aaberg's wistful sadness and masterful subtlety aren't there. "The Dance" by Tony Arata was featured on Garth Brooks' first album. I`m not familiar with the Brooks version, but Winston makes this one his own.While I'm not jumping up and down over "Plains", it is a very good album, and I've enjoyed listening to it a lot. Not terribly challenging or radical in any way, it's still a very pleasant experience and I can see why it was such a huge commercial success."
Unexpected Delight
Marc Ruby? | Warren, MI USA | 10/05/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Few things are as pleasant as finding that that a source of enjoyment has more in it than you expect. Whether this is as profound as a new line of discovery or the simple pleasure of an album of music that you had overlooked is a moot point. In either case the rewards come as a great surprise. George Winston is one of America's musical treasures, combining folk with light jazz, making music that can delight and uplift at the same time. Somehow, this weekend, I found that I had missed an album, and the pleasure was worth the wait.

Plains is classic George Winston. Many of the tracks are landscapes or impressions. Winston seems to be visually inspired. Listen to the happy, folksy rhythm of Dubuque and compare it with the thoughtfulness of Aaberg's Before Barbed Wire. Of course, Winston isn't bound by his traditional Montana settings and music. There is also the melancholy romanticism of Frangenti and the delicate styling of Give Me Your Hand.

The surprise is his use of Hawaiian slack key music (No Ke Ano Ahihi and 'Ike Ia Ladana) once you listen, the influence on Winston's music is obvious. There is a tendency to write some of Winston's work as New Age when it is simply reworking of a mix of styles into something that is something of its own. Winston uses misic and influence from Aaberg, Chet Atkins, Hawaiian, Sammy Cahn (and even Sarah McLachan) with the adeptness of a polished musican.

But for me, it is still Winston's own work that makes me wish I had worked harder on keyboards. Graduation, Plains, and Rainsong are the best on this album, which is sure to see a lot of playing. Get it for your own rainy days, you'll love it."