My first time to hear George Winston piano had been a couple of years earlier, with a CD called December, loaned from a friend. I was amazed and delighted with the music on it, and my children enjoyed hearing it, too. It was lively and rhythmical at times, beautifully smooth and comforting at other times.
And this piano music is still one of my first choices to listen to, when looking for instrumental music to hear while working on artwork or just wanting beautiful sounds in the background while doing anything.
I recently did some research on George Winston, and found out some interesting things I hadn't known:
About 95% of the pieces he plays are by other composers, though he does arrange pieces.
He composes about 1 - 2 songs a year.
He is constantly touring and doing live performances.
He also plays solo guitar and solo harmonica, in addition to solo piano.
His type of piano music is NOT classical-- it is called "folk piano."
He has never played piano music by classical European composers.
He didn't start playing a keyboard instrument until he was 18, and started with the organ because he liked the music of "The Doors."
His inspiration to begin playing piano was hearing recordings from the '20's and '30's, of "stride piano" ("Fats" Waller and Teddy Wilson).
He recorded his first album in 1972, when he was 25 and had been playing piano for just one year.
One of the piano recordings he is most well-known for is Linus and Lucy-- The Music of Vince Guaraldi, released in 1996, which has some familiar piano solos from the "Peanuts" TV specials on it. But he has created a steady stream of recordings over the past 35 years, with 10 solo piano full albums and several EP's. His EP's are benefit albums, with proceeds going to various causes such as 9-11 survivors, Hurricane Relief and cancer research.
Since summer has just ended, I thought it would be fitting to put a song from his Summer album here-- it is called "Living in the Country" and was originally a guitar piece by Pete Seeger, composed around 1956. George also used a second song as the intro for his piano arrangement of "Living in the Country"-- it is a traditional Irish song, "Do You Love an Apple?" There are no other pictures with this video; just the nice yellowish one below, but there is no need for pictures-- just listening is enchanting in itself.
You can investigate George Winston's website at www.GeorgeWinston.com and hear other recordings from this album or other albums, as well as order the mp3 files or CD's (I suggest giving yourself an early Christmas present).