Veteran saxophonist/composer Paul Winter is scheduled to release his latest album Friday. The record, Light of the Sun is an aptly titled presentation. That is because it is a record that will certainly warm and relax the spirits of every listener. From start to end, its subtle musical arrangements are everything that audiences have come to expect from Winter over the course of his decades-long career. They offer so much relaxation. Case in point is the avian-based song ‘The Well-Tempered Wood Thrush.’ This song will be discussed shortly. ‘Winter’s Dream,’ which comes late in the album’s 68-minute run, supports the noted statements in its own unique way. It will be discussed a little later. The same can be said of ‘Sweet Home,’ which also comes late in the album’s run. Each of the songs noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the album. When these songs are considered with the rest of the album’s entries, the whole becomes a record that Winter’s fans and easy listening aficionados alike will appreciate.
Paul Winter’s latest album Light of the Sun is a work that will appeal easily to his longtime fans and to easy listening fans in general. That is proven from the record’s opening to its finale. Each of the album’s featured songs proves that in its own unique way, not the least of which is the nature-themed composition, ‘The Well-Tempered Wood Thrush.’ Winter used the calls of the noted bird to create this composition. His work on the saxophone is a near response to the bird’s call. The subtle addition of the cello line adds a nice modern classical touch to the alongside the use of what sounds like a cajon drum. The continued bird calls throughout the song ad such a happy, unique touch to the composition that when each element is joined together, the picture that is painted by the whole is so rich. Listeners can see in their minds, images of the bid in question, and a quiet, warm, forested setting, a warm breeze blowing through the trees as the sun shines high above, only a few clouds in an otherwise blue sky. The emotional impact of the imagery is so welcome and will put a big smile on any listener’s face. It is without question, one of the album’s most notable works. ‘Winter’s Dream’ has its own positive impact on listeners, too.
One can only imagine, in listening to ‘Winter’s Dream’ what he was perhaps dreaming that led to this gentle, easy listening style composition. It immediately lends itself to comparisons to works from the like of Chuck Mangione, Kenny G and Yanni. That is evidenced through the balance of the keyboards and Winter’s own performance on saxophone. One has to assume that Winter was either playing in a very high register in this piece or in fact using a soprano saxophone for the composition. That aside, the song in whole paints a picture at least in this critic’s mind, of perhaps a romantic situation. The gradual crescendo helps to paint that picture of the building emotion in the situation. The addition of the organ to the composition as it builds adds another layer to the work, enhancing it even more. What is even more interesting is its clear ABA format as it returns to its “A” section as it nears its end. The relaxing finale to the song leaves listeners with such a positive mindset. The feeling will leave listeners agreeing why this song stands out and as to how much it stands out in the bigger picture of the album. What’s more, it will leave even less doubt as to why the aforementioned audiences will appreciate the album in whole. Even with all of this in mind, it still is not the last of the album’s most notable works. ‘Sweet Home’ is one more admirable addition to Light of the Sun.
‘Sweet Home’ evokes all of the imagery that its title implies throughout the course of its four-minute-plus run time. The gentle piano emits such a warmth and happiness. It is that person returning home after being away for years – maybe someone who has been away at college and is home for the holidays for the first time, or maybe a relative who has not visited returning home for the first time in as much time, and finding the welcoming arms and smiles of family. It is everything that listeners think of when they think of a Hallmark movie regardless of the time of year. It would fit perfectly into the soundtrack of one of those movies. The emotion that it evokes in listeners is something that will resonate with those audiences long after the song ends. When it is considered along with the other songs noted here and the rest of the album’s works, the whole of the album’s body makes it a record that Winter’s fans and easy listening fans alike will agree is as good as any of Winter’s existing albums.
Paul Winter’s latest album Light of the Sun is a work that will appeal equally to his longtime fans and to easy listening fans alike. That is proven through its relaxing musical arrangements, which will in fact warm listeners’ hearts, minds, and souls. Each of the songs addressed here supports the noted statements in its own way. When they are considered along with the rest of the album’s entries, the whole of the album becomes a work that will appeal equally to Winter’s longtime fans and easy listening fans in general. It is scheduled for release Friday through Living Music. More information on the album is available along with all of Paul Winter’s latest news at:
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