Print this Page

World Music CD Reviews North American

A QUIET REVOLUTION: 30 YEARS OF WINDHAM HILL

By Ernest Barteldes
Published June 27, 2006

Windham Hill/Legacy

This amazing four-CD boxed set celebrating the anniversary of Will Ackerman’s independent label is divided equally into “Elements,” “Peace,” “Artistry” and “Excursions.” As in any compilation of its kind, the result is a mixed bag, but in this case not a single dud is to be found. Highlights include Tuck and Patti’s soulful take on Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time,” Cesaria Evora’s Afro-samba “Vaquinha Mansa” (Tame Little Cow), Ray Obiedo’s cool jazz meets-mambo “Real Life” and Jim Brickman’s take on “Hush Lil’Baby,” which features a subtle Carly Simon on vocals. Alex de Grassi delivers a beautiful (previously unreleased) solo guitar version of “Inverness” and the harrowing rendition of “Calling You” delivered by Joan Jeanrenaud and Paul McCandless will give you goose bumps even after repeated hearings. If that isn’t enough, George Winston’s “Love Song for A Ballerina” is reason enough to own the album. Listen to the whole set randomly or upload to your iPod and set it to shuffle. This is an album that should be savored patiently, bit by bit, without missing a single moment.