Will Ackerman's Masterpiece
Paul Allaer | Cincinnati | 12/21/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Will Ackerman started the Windham Hill label in 1976, essentially to self-release some albums of "new age" guitar pieces he wrote (Ackerman detested any reference to "new age"). Much to his (and anyone else's) amazement, these early albums started selling beyond anyone's expectation. Soon Will signed other like-minded new age artists to his label, and before he knew what hit him, the Windham Hill label took off like a rocket. Being the label's CEO didn't stop Will from recording new music himself. And so on the 10th anniversary of the label, Will issued what would turn out to be his very best album ever.
"Conferring With the Moon" (1986, 11 tracks, 53 min.) continues the musical growth heard on the previous 2 albums, 1981's "Passage" and 1983's "Past Light". On "Conferring" it all come together just perfectly. On the title track, in which he is accompanied by piano, you can just "hear" Will talking to the moon. "Improv" is 'back-to-roots' Ackerman solo work. "Lago de Montanoas" finds Will accompanied by the pan-flute, you can just feel the "Inca-spirit" in your room! Other highlights include "Processional", "Shape of the Land" and the sweeping "Last Day on the Beach", with a great violin solo over Will's guitar work.
Will Ackerman has issued only 10 albums in his 28 year career to date (2001's "Hearing Voices" being the most recent). "Conferring With the Moon" stands the test of time, and is in my opinion his best work ever. Highly recommended! (Please note that the original vinyl album was replaced by CD in 1990, which in turn was reissued in a remastered version in 1998 that sounds miles better than the 1990 release.)"
Not like his early stuff
M. Lilliquist | Bellingham, Washington USA | 10/17/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"If you like the more recent albums by guitarist William Ackerman, which are melodic, quiet, moody, cerebral, and relaxing, then you'll like this album too. If you are like me, however, and you enjoyed his early albums more - e.g., "In Search of Turtle's Navel," which is lively, emotional, and moving - then you will be disappointed. Ackerman is still a master artist, evolving in his craft, so I do not wish to take anything away from him. It's just a matter of taste."
Five Stars for 'Moon'
D. Gorman "Crystalline Structure M | 08/05/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I like mellow New Age music, although I prefer the more electric, rowdy fusion music. But still, when a special album comes out that really shines as a masterpiece, you have to give The Devil his due. Conferring With the Moon is such a special masterpiece. I won't go into my personal musical history, although I have tried recording and putting my own songs together into an album, and I know that you never realize how songs are going to come together into an 'album unit' until you hear the album as a whole. And every once in a while, the right collection of songs just comes together and gels and becomes something special...an entity that is just greater than the sum of its parts. William Ackerman acheived that goal with this album! Some of the tunes are solo guitar, sometimes his guitar works as a beautiful backdrop for other instruments like a lyricon (sort of a flute-like recorder) on the enchanting title track. The flute is used wonderfully as a lead instrument, or the oboe. Other notable Windham Hill musicians pop up on this album, such as Darryl Anger on violin or George Winston on piano. This album is relaxing, beautiful, ethereal, surreal, and just an incredible, mellow, beautiful New Age listening experience....even for a confirmed fusion nut like me! Relax. Buy it, and lose yourself in the euphoria.