Music For A Winter Solstice

P. D. Kelley

Sunday evening, December 9th, was brisk and foggy but inside the Rogue Theater, the crowd was enjoying the soft but vibrant sounds of Windam Hill. As a record label its success has been exceptional and a number of fine musicians have contributed to include George Winston and Will Akerman. Now bigger parent companies market the brand but co-founder Akerman is still active in the band of the same name. The style has been called “soft jazz” or “new age” but I think the music transcends these genres and “band” may not be as accurate a description as “a varying collection of excellent, versatile and like-minded musicians.” The group on this night consisted of five players on guitar, piano, violin, drum and reed. All played together, all played separately, featuring Akerman’s fluid and graceful style on guitar and long –time band member Alex De Grassi on guitar as well with some robust and stately playing. My favorite was Barbara Higbee, mainly on piano with a turn or two on the violin. “Angelic” is an overworked term to describe a voice but nothing fits better in defining Higbee’s delicate but clear soprano. The musical selections were mostly original but some familiar seasonal tunes were included as well. This is music that can make you relax and drift but also can be energizing as well, especially when you realize the quality of the sound. This is what you want playing in the background at any holiday party or when curled up with a loved one before the fire.

Get out the eggnog, pop in one of their CD’s and prepare to go on a short vacation.

Catch you on the flip side…