Windham Hill Records
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Welly Wu

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I have been listening to various albums produced by the Windham Hill Records by artists such as Will Ackerman, Michael Hedges, and Jim Brickman: all are excellent in their approach to blending distinct musical styles and the record label succeeds each year by putting out compelling material. The website is http://www.windham.com . My problem with the current state of the music business is that they promote artists with little talent who recycle the same B list of material in order to appeal to their niche audiences. It is rare for a record label to not only produce a compelling diversity of musical styles within its own house, but to have its own artists succeed in the mainstream music business as well. Some of the albums that have piqued my interest so far include Hearing Voices, A Winter's Solstice VI, Guitar Solos, and Windows. I hope that some members here give Windham Hill Records a listen because I think it will foster greater musical appreciation to deserving artists.
 
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meat01

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I like George Winston. December and Winter into Spring are my favorites. I also like A Winter's Solstace. I belive I have only heard the first one.
 
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Nightfall

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Any of the late Michael Hedges stuff is highly recommended, particularly his first, the beautiful "Aerial Boundaries". The man was an acoustic guitar god. Many famous guitarists hold his playing ability in awe.
William Ackerman's "Passage" may have been his best, but many other of his cd's are beautifully composed and played.
George Winston's recordings likely require little additional recommendation they have become so well known. The man simply makes stunningly lovely music.
All of the Winters Solstice collections are worthwhile, and the Celtic Christmas collections are especially wonderful. While the music put out by the label hasnt perhaps been quite as good since William Ackerman sold it, it still offers many newer fine recordings.


JC
 
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soundboy

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When I was a DJ at my college's radio station back in the late 80s, Windham Hill recordings were made regular appearances on my program. This was being it got gobbled up by, I think, Universal. Back then, Windham Hill was really a breath of fresh air....Will Ackerman, Liz Story, Tim Story, Nightnoise, etc... I highly recommend a couple of recordings by the Japanese duo Interior that, to my knowledge, haven't yet made it to CD. Excellent stuff.

Same can also be said of Private Music before it was taken over by BMG (and Yanni
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FalconP

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Ah the good old days...long before Windham Hill became BMG's dispensary of adult contemp pap. Those were the days of good music, and the good thing is -- lots of the music can now be found in used bins for next to nothing.

Some of my favorite albums

Nightnoise (celtic/chamber music) -- A Different Shore (poigant, beautiful); Shadows of Time.

The Celtic Christmas (or Celtic Season, depending on where you live) series (6 in all so far, plus a compilation) are simply delicious music all year round. Most of the pieces on these albums are specially commissioned and are not to be found anywhere else.

Tim Story (piano/electronic) -- His Windham Hill outputs are more experimental and less coherant; his albums under the Hearts of Space label are more mature and even better. The exception is the (rather hard to find) Untitled, which is unspeakably beautiful.

Alex de Grassi (guitar) -- I perfer him to Ackerman. Recommendations: Clockwork, Turning/Turning Back

Will Ackerman (guitar) -- I like The Opening of Doors, perhaps because the presence of Tim Story, but Conferring with the Moon and Imaginary Roads are good starts.

Michael Hedges (guitar) -- eventually you'll want to get him all, but to start with, try Aerial Boundaries and Taproot

Mark Isham has released a series of Ambient electronic albums under Widnham Hill, the best of which is perhaps Vapor Drawings

Saving the best for last -- the pianist Scott Cossu. Before his unfortunate accident that robbed his ability to write and play music, Cossu was THE new-age pianist. He may not be as well known as George Winston, but his pieces are simply well-formed, minature worlds of their own. I'm trying to get hold of all his albums; so far, my favorites are Reunion, Islands and She Describes Infinity
 
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tanfenton

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I thought I would chime in here after just today listening to Hedges' Live on the Double Planet in the car. I put the tape in on the recommendation of my mother who commented on how similar he sounded to Ralph Towner, someone I had spun for her last year. There are some similarities after all and I feel anyone who likes Michael's guitar work will find a similar companion in Towner. Highlights for Ralph include the ECM solo debut on Diary and the additional ECM recordings that comprise Solo Concert, Blue Sun, and Matchbook, the brilliant duet album with vibist Gary Burton.

I sent Minya Solo Concert last year. I am hoping he is getting a lot out of it as the year rolls on towards our birthdays again.

NGF
 
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