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Winter Consort: Icarus

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Customer Reviews

beautiful and magical

this album is such a gift for anybody who loves Paul Winter's music and who also loves the vibe of the 70's. It is an album of a very sweet, heartfelt and simply beautiful music making. The first listening through brought tears in my eyes (The Silence of Candle) Enjoy

It aged well

I first heard the song 'Icarus' when it was a "new" song, played as the background music for three powerful radio stations that beamed their signals toward Southern California from Tijuana, Mexico, XHIS, XHERS, and XTRA. The song, the artist, and the type of music has aged well in the past almost-40 years.

A True Masterpiece, along with the Consort's sadly neglected first album

Because this is often the earliest and one of the most popular of the Winter Consort’s recordings to be offered on iTunes, we often forget that the group had recorded three earlier albums: The Winter Consort (1968), Something in the Wind (1969), and Road (1970). I have never been able to find that first masterpiece on anything but a long-playing record. I would hope it made it to cassette, but I’m not sure a CD version was ever released. And, in my opinion, it remains one of the finest albums ever made. Anyway, Icarus is also superb. Winter and his Consort were pioneers in contemplative jazz and what would ultimately become known as New Age music. I prefer the label “contemplative jazz.” The album was produced by Beatles’ producer George Martin, who once called Icarus “the finest album I ever made.” And it is certainly one of the finest ever made by any producer. By this time, the Consort membership had become pretty set. Guitarist Ralph Towner, reed player Paul McCandless, and multi-instrumentalist Colin Walcott would go on to found the group Oregon. Cellist David Darling would go on to a brilliant solo career, as would Towner later. The album includes 4 near-perfect compositions by Towner (the title track, “Sunwheel," "Chehalis and Other Voices," and the beautiful vocal song “The Silence of a Candle”) Darling contributed “Ode to a Fillmore Dressing Room,” Walcott contributed “Juniper Bear,” and McCandless contributed “All the Mornings Bring.” Winter himself adapted a Bach composition “Minuit.” The nuanced world music flavorings of some of the tracks is also distinctive, given that this was 1972. World music certainly wasn’t unknown, but it was commonly blended so quietly and tastefully with Western rhythms and instrumentation in the way that The Winter Consort did. So, Icarus remains a true masterpiece.


Born: August 31, 1939 in Altoona, PA

Genre: New Age

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Winter first came to public prominence in 1961 as the winner of a collegiate jazz festival held at Notre Dame University; one of that event's judges, John Hammond, subsequently signed the group to a Columbia recording contract. In 1962, the band was sent on a State Department tour of Latin America. That venture planted the first seeds of change in Winter's concept. In 1967, he abandoned traditional jazz format in favor of a lineup that featured non-Western instruments. The Paul Winter Consort, as...
Full Bio
Winter Consort: Icarus, Paul Winter
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  • $8.91
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, New Age
  • Released: 1972

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