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Album Review

Summer is George Winston's fourth collection of seasonably themed solo piano pieces. His deft touch on the keyboard is intact — in fact, it's probably Winston's light hand that allows him to blend folk music, new age introspection, and jazz improvisation so ably. Opener "Living in the Country" finds an Irish traditional inside a Pete Seeger number, while "Loreta and Desireé's Bouquet, Pts. 1 & 2" evoke the countryside of Winston's native Montana. "Early Morning Range" is even clearer in its influence, crisp notes ringing out over tranquil chords like the first sight of the mountainside as you depart a field of tall sunflowers. Winston revisits Carmine Coppola's theme for the film Black Stallion, gives Randy Newman's "Living Without You" just the right touch of loneliness and warm memory, and the twinkling coda of the traditional "Corrina, Corrina" is the perfect foil to its roly-poly Americana main section. Other Summer highlights include an interpretation of Phillip Aaberg's "Spring Creek," and the Winston original "Hummingbird."


Born: 1949 in Michigan

Genre: New Age

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Self-described "rural folk piano" player George Winston was among the earliest and most successful proponents of the genre of contemporary instrumental music later dubbed new age. Although born in Michigan in 1949, he was raised primarily in Montana, the extreme seasonal changes he experienced there later greatly influencing the pastoral feel of his music. Even as a child, Winston preferred instrumental music over vocal performances, counting among his early heroes Booker T. & the MG's, Floyd Cramer,...
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