George Winston: Joy

16 Dec


George Winston has titled albums after a month (December), a state (Montana) and all four seasons, overlapping two of them, has named a song after a holiday, and done tributes to musicians from Vince Guaraldi to The Doors.

This month he played a concert in Boulder, Colo., and then another in Alberta, presumably because the former wasn’t the right temperature — he doesn’t perform often in flannel shirts for nothing.

Yet Winston attended college in Florida (Stetson University) and counts among his influences music from warm-weather sites — New Orleans piano and the Hawaiian slack-key guitarists. He may not want to live in Margaritaville, but he’s not above listening to its music.

The song Joy, link below, is from his December album, released in 1982. It’s a movement from an 18th-century cantata composed by J.S. Bach, and, according to the album notes, inspired by an arrangement by guitarist David Qualey.

“Any other labels, including anything “philosophical” or “spiritual” are also not accurate, as I have no interest whatsoever in those subjects,” Winston says in an answer to a question on his website about whether his music has ever been mislabeled. “I just play the songs the best I can, inspired by the seasons, the topographies, and thirdly, sociological elements, and try to improve as a player over time.”

(The picture above is from December in a cold-weather clime far east of Winston’s beloved Montana, but seems right for his music).


One Response to “George Winston: Joy”

  1. LondonJazzCollector December 17, 2013 at 1:39 am #

    Autumn, December, Winter into Spring, and Summer, Windham Hill 1980-2 grace my New Age collection – somewhere filling several boxes in the loft. 1980 doesn’t sound very “new” any more, a problem for everything that presents itself on the platform of being “new” is that it gets replaced by the next new. I recall enjoying Winston’s flawless economy on the keys – not a note too many or too few, and all what I imagined as New Englandish – the opposite of “urban”. I’ll fish out Winter, which was always my favourite, and see how well it has worn. I never really warmed to summer.

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