Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: World Music, Jazz, New Age, Pop
This is Winter's first attempt at harnessing the vast inspiration he felt upon exploring the Grand Canyon. Why he mixed into this collection tracks recorded at the church St. John the Divine in New York is unknown--the tra... more »
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This is Winter's first attempt at harnessing the vast inspiration he felt upon exploring the Grand Canyon. Why he mixed into this collection tracks recorded at the church St. John the Divine in New York is unknown--the tracks are harmonious meanderings that please the ear but don't come close to matching the power and awe he brought forth on location in the canyon. Tracks like "Raven Dance," "Bedrock Cathedral," and "River Run"--with their natural echoes and sounds of nature--tap into nature's wondrous beauty that Winter has been so moved by throughout his career. "Bedrock Cathedral's" beautiful French horn with its ominous ancient calls and silent pauses recalls native cultures. The horn's reverbations bend and bounce off the canyon cliffs like gods answering a human call. Wisely, Winter and his collaborators (made up mostly of Oregon members) lay back into the serenity of the rocky walls and percolating rivers--so far in fact, that the group's delicate, sparse music merges seamlessly with the canyon sounds, garnering a musical majesty that evokes tears of joy. Poignant and pure. --Karen Karleski
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Very Essential Winter.
Bob Zeidler | Charlton, MA United States | 11/11/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For more than two decades, Paul Winter and his Consort have traveled the globe, searching for natural venues about which significant thematic musical vistas might be painted and within which the music might actually be made, catching in the fullest possible way a "sense of the place." Nowhere has this been done better by Winter and the Consort than in the Grand Canyon, and this album is testament to that fact.
The album itself was "years in the making" involving visits by Winter and his crew to define what it was that needed to be captured for this sense of the place, and where and how best to catch it. The final result is revelatory. And it involves perhaps the finest Paul Winter Consort make-up ever assembled: Winter on soprano sax, Paul McCandless on oboe, John Clark on French horn, both Eugene Friesen and David Darling on cello, Paul Halley on keyboards, and Glen Velez on percussion, with additional contributions by Nancy Rumbel and Oscar Castro-Neves. Half the tracks were recorded in situ at various canyon locales, with the remaining tracks being recorded in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City.
These are "the facts." They hardly begin to describe the music, which, almost from first note to last, was largely improvised. With one minor caveat (noted at the end), the concept of depicting the Grand Canyon in musical terms might lead one to say, "Isn't this what Ferde Grofé did many years earlier?" Well, of course he did. But this natural wonder is big enough to permit multiple musical vistas, and Winter's may well be the most unique and personal. And it is certainly "close up" in a way that Grofé's could never be. As an example, "Sockdolager" envisions a wild raft ride down the Little Colorado River that actually happened during one excursion while putting this album together. And, for the Paul Winter trivia buffs among you, this "Sockdolager" track is the only one in existence - so far as I know - which features both David Darling and Eugene Friesen together on cello, a minor "point of continuity" so to speak.
While all of this album is great, the opening and closing tracks are simply drop-dead-gorgeous stunners, depicting the Grand Canyon at sunrise and sunset. The closing track - "Grand Canyon Sunset" - is one of those sublime happenstances in improvised music where five leading instrumentalists, each "making it up as he goes," succeed in weaving together a musical tapestry that truly captures the sense of the place, which is what the project was all about in the first place. (John Clark's French horn is magical on this track, Paul McCandless soars on oboe to better effect than on any of his work with Oregon, the frame percussion of Glen Velez provides an appropriate "buzz," and Winter on sax and Paul Halley on the pipe organ at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine add just the right "bluesy" touch.) And, if you know your Grofé, pay particularly close attention at about 3:10 into this final track. You should be able to pick up on a subtle tribute that is not noted the booklet. A very nice - and fitting - touch indeed!
This is timeless music. It knows no conventional genre barriers, and thus will never be rendered out of style by those who deem themselves genre "definers." Savor it!
Been there, loved this
Charles F. Keller | Greensboro, NC | 06/26/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this CD after I rafted through the Grand Canyon with family members and friends several years back (we did our own trip; 16 days on the river). This CD has the ability to instantly transport me back to what was a magical place; the sounds of the river and animals are beautifully mixed with the music of Winters and his consort. I've listened to it countless times, and love it more each time."
GRAND CANYON SUNSET
SWEET KITTY | IDAHO, USA | 03/04/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"THIS PIECE IS BEAUTIFUL. WHEN EVER I HEAR IT (WHICH IS OFTEN) I AM MOVED TO TEARS. I RECENTLY HAD A FRIEND PASS AWAY BY TAKING HIS OWN LIFE. HE WAS A VERY TROUBLED YOUNG PERSON. WHEN EVER I HEAR GRAND CANYON SUNSET I PICTURE IN MY MIND MY FRIEND SITTING AT THE TOP OF THE CANYON WITH THE SUNSET BEFORE HIM AND HE IS FINALLY AT PEACE. TRULY HEART FELT MUSIC.