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Music : VA - The Gathering (2012)

VA - The Gathering (2012)
MP3 CBR 320 kbps | Tracks: 22 | 72:36 min | 168 Mb
Style: New Age | Label: West River Records

"The Gathering" is a compilation or "sampler" of 22 artists presented by Grammy-winning Windham Hill Records founder Will Ackerman. The tracks were produced and recorded by Will at his state of the art studio, with editing and mastering for the CD by engineer Tom Eaton. The music on this collection is diverse and includes solo compositions on piano or guitar, duets, and larger ensembles, ranging from earthy folk melodies to world music influences, and beyond. "The Gathering" is a harmonic convergence of outstanding talent and a tribute to the work of one of the preeminent producers in music today.

The album opens with an elegant piano solo by Masako. This is followed by a beautiful track called "Taoist Winds" by acoustic guitarist Paul Jensen, whose gentle arpeggiated notes contrasted beautifully with the longer sustained sounds of cellist Eugene Friesen, a member of The Paul Winter Consort. The exotic Aboriginal sound of the didgeridoo is right at home on Australian pianist Fiona Joy Hawkin's "Feeling Sunshine" which also features bass, percussion, and a rare appearance by Will Ackerman on electric guitar. One of my favorite artists is trumpeter Jeff Oster, and his song "Serengeti". This song departs a bit from the primarily acoustic nature of the compilation and adds elements of jazz, ambient electronica, and ethnic influences.

On of the highlights for me would have to be "The Brightest Night" by the uniquely talented guitarist Todd Boston. Another interesting guitar-based composition is "Hide And Seek" by Shambhu, which features wordless vocals adding to the melody, supported by bass and percussion. "The Gathering" draws to a graceful conclusion with a lovely composition entitled "The Wheel" by none other than the maestro Ackerman himself. Will's acoustic guitar playing is stunning in its tone, articulation, phrasing, and the way it sets the stage for the cream of the crop of his studio musicians to shine.

The depth and breadth of the music on "The Gathering" is astounding, as is the emotional range it evokes. Yet no less impressive is the fact that one person, Will Ackerman, stands at the center of this creative vortex with the power to draw some of the world's finest musicians into the magnetic field of his musical momentum. The legacy of Windham Hill Records is indelible. Yet far from just being a fond memory and a chapter in history, its founder has taken the seeds of that garden and enabled them to blossom anew in the present moment. "The Gathering" is a treasure trove of virtuoso musical performances and an affirmation about the continuity of the creative flow.


01. Masako - Glastenbury, Vermont
02. Paul Jensen - Taoist Winds
03. Stanton Lanier - Bread of Angels
04. Kathryn Kaye - Mountain Laurel
05. Rudy Perrone - The Prophet
06. Fiona Joy Hawkins - Feeling Sunshine
07. Jeff Oster - Serengeti
08. Dean Boland - Intimacy (Into Me See)
09. Frank Smith - Porch With a View
10. Todd Boston - The Brightest Night
11. Rocky Fretz - Kim's Song
12. Shambhu - Hide and Seek
13. Kori Linae Carothers - Carpe Diem
14. Peter Jennison - Anthem (When We All Come Home)
15. Denise Young - Livia's Song
16. Devin Rice & Erin Aas - Thyn Ayre
17. Lawrence Blatt - The Color of Sunshine
18. Ronnda Cadle - Shalom
19. Ann Sweeten - Dawn On Red Mountain
20. Ken Verheecke - Forever
21. Patrick Gorman - Shades of You
22. Will Ackerman - The Wheel

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