Search - William Ackerman :: Passage

William Ackerman
Genres: Jazz, New Age, Pop
  •  Track Listings (8) - Disc #1

Though never a fingerstyle technician on a par with the Pierre Bensusans and Martin Simpsons of the world, Windham Hill founder and acoustic guitarist Ackerman has a way with the elegiac and the moodily majestic, rarely so...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: William Ackerman
Title: Passage
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 2
Label: Windham Hill Records
Release Date: 4/29/1997
Genres: Jazz, New Age, Pop
Styles: Meditation, Instrumental, Adult Contemporary, Adult Alternative
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 019341101420

Though never a fingerstyle technician on a par with the Pierre Bensusans and Martin Simpsons of the world, Windham Hill founder and acoustic guitarist Ackerman has a way with the elegiac and the moodily majestic, rarely so well-conceived as on this 1981 disc that features cameos from Darroll Anger and George Winston. An early example of digital recording, Passage illustrates Ackerman's command of the pedal-tone figure; hypnotic fingerpicked arpeggios with subtly moving basslines patiently draw the listener in. Anger's violin adds a spirited lyric voice to the meditative "Remedios," while Winston's characteristic phrasing adds splashes of color to "Hawk Circle." If Ackerman's 1976 LP In Search of the Turtle's Navel is, arguably, the album that invented new-age music, Passage is his refinement of the form. --James Rotondi

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CD Reviews

Soothing, Relaxing & Serene
E. M. Holderman | Perryville, Kentucky USA | 07/13/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Will Ackerman is in my opinion, the epitomy of guitar playing. Passage is one of my fave Ackerman cd's. The focus in this cd is Ackerman's steel string guitar but, he is accompanied on a few songs by either George Winston on piano, Darol Anger on violin, Dan Reiter on cello or Robert Hubbard on english horn. The rest is solo guitar. The combination of these musical instruments adds such a beautiful scope to this cd. I never tire of it. Nice to pop in your cd player whether your working, studying or relaxing. I find it to be very soothing. If you aren't familiar w/ Will Ackerman, this would be a great cd to start with. It's one of his earlier recordings. Another favorite of mine is Conferring With The Moon. By the way, he is the founder of Windham Hill Records...which doans such greats, besides himself, as George Winston, Liz Story, Eileen Ivers, Michael Hedges, Philip Aaberg, Alex De Grassi, Jim Brickman, & Tim Story...just to name a few. Ackerman both wrote and produced these compostions. To sum it all up, Passage will soothe your soul."
And Uncontrived Synthesis
Marc Ruby? | Warren, MI USA | 11/13/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Will Ackerman is now better know for his record label (Windham Hill) than he is as a guitar player. But his accomplishments as a musician are equally worth of note. Perhaps because he isn't a virtuoso like his cousin Alex de Grassi, Ackerman has worked hard to develop a musicality that immediately draws in the listener.Usually labelled as a 'new age' guitarist, Ackerman's style is built out of traditional components - a melodic base over an arpeggiated foundation, usually with the guitar in an open tuning. While this is now a commonplace, one has to remember that, when Ackerman started out, this approach was still novel. Ackerman himself is responsible for the popularity of this musical architecture.In an interview once, Ackerman attributed much of his approach to influences by Robbie Basho. Basho's big point was that a successful composition is always a song, even if there are no voices. All of the pieces on this album are proof that Ackerman took that advice to heart. Rarely is there a period where the music gets stuck in a grove without a melody. Instead there is a reaching quality that is almost magnetic. Both 'The Impending Death of the Virgin Spirit' and 'The Bricklayer's Beautiful Daughter' are fine examples of this, especially the latter, which is probably my favorite on the CD.Another thing that sets Ackerman apart is the way he works with other musicians. Four of the pieces here are duets with accomplished musicmakers. Notably, Darol Anger on violin and George Winston on piano. The resulting efforts are joint efforts where Ackerman shares the lead rather than grabs the spotlight. The results, work like 'Remedios' and 'Hawk Circle' are brilliant syntheses - both joint performances and joint compositions.The mood Ackerman creates is reflective rather than driven, with the arpeggios seting the rhythmic structure. His sound is smooth and bell like, the controlled tonalities for which Guild guitars used to be famous. The result is almost hypnotic at times. This is an impressive album, from a musician who was still finding his way at that time."
Essential guitar music
Alan | Lincoln Park, MI United States | 09/15/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This CD is a pinnacle of acoustic guitar playing. Ackerman creates moods and atmospheres that I've never heard before, not from Kottke, Bensusan, Fahey, Keaggy or any others. He tugs at your emotions and gets in your head. As beautiful a CD of any kind. The guest players enhance and bring their own deft touch to the music. This is unlike any other new age or guitar piece out there."