Here are 8 tracks from the Consort’s first period (1968 to 1972).
1. “Ballad in 7/8” (Trad. Rumanian)
This is our adaptation of a Rumanian folk melody we heard in a piano piece by Bela Bartok. It features improvised variations by cellist Richard Bock.
2. “Both Sides Now” (Joni Mitchell)
This was my first arrangement for the instrumentation of the Consort. The cello counterlines were inspired by the Prelude of Bach’s First Cello Suite.
These tracks are from our 1968 album, The Winter Consort, produced by Noel Paul Stookey, with myself on alto sax; Richard Bock / cello; Gene Murrow / English horn; Virgil Scott / alto flute; Gene Bertoncini / guitar; John Beal / bass; Ruth Ben-Zvi / darbuke; Jim Kappes / drums (Leon Rix / drums on “Both Sides Now”).
3. “The Famous Pirate” (Leopold Weiss; arr. Winter)
I became fascinated early on with the 13-string Baroque Lute which was like a classical guitar on steroids. Karl Herreshoff was a superb guitarist who was also a student of this amazing lute. This composition was by the most famous lutenist of the 18th century, Leopold Weiss, who reputedly was a good friend of J.S. Bach. We’ve created new melodies for the Consort over-top the lute piece.
This is from our 1969 album, Something in the Wind, produced by Noel Paul Stookey, with myself on alto sax; Paul McCandless / English horn; Richard Bock / cello; Virgil Scott / alto flute; Karl Herreshoff / baroque lute; John Beal / bass; and Steve Booker / drums.
4. “Um Abraco” (A Big Hug) (Ralph Towner)
This is from our 1970 summer tour, recorded live at Royce Hall, UCLA. It was Paul McCandless’s first recording on oboe.
5. “Fantasy, Fugue and Ghost Beads”
This suite includes the “Fantasy” for guitar by Mudarra, arranged by Ralph Towner; a Bach “Fugue” from one of the Orchestral Suites; and Ralph’s composition “Ghost Beads.”
(“Ghost Beads” has the honor of, along with another of Ralph’s compositions, having a crater on the moon named after it. Cellist David Darling’s brother-in-law, Joe Allen was the scientist-astronaut in charge of the Apollo 15 mission, and Joe gave to those astronauts a cassette of this album, Road, to listen to en route to the moon. The astronauts got to name new craters they discovered, and they gave two of them names from these pieces they liked on the album.)
From the 1970 album, Road, produced by Phil Ramone with myself on alto sax; Paul McCandless / oboe and English horn; David Darling / cello; Ralph Towner / guitar; Glen Moore / bass; and Collin Walcott / congas, tambourine, tabla.
6. “Ode to a Fillmore Dressing Room” (David Darling)
David Darling played the seed-themes for this piece while we were warming up in the dressing room at the Fillmore East, when we played there in the spring of 1971. I captured them on a cassette recorder and then urged David to develop then into a composition. It enabled us to continue our exploration of new instruments, including the contrabass sarrusophone (heard in the introduction and ending), and the sitar, which Collin Walcott learned during the years he was a road manager for Ravi Shankar. This piece incorporates a unique string quartet, of classical guitar, sitar, cello, and bass.
7. “Sunwheel” (Ralph Towner)
8. “Icarus” (Ralph Towner)
These three tracks are from the 1971 album Icarus, produced by George Martin, with myself on soprano sax; Paul McCandless / oboe; David Darling / cello; Ralph Towner / guitar, regal (on “Sunwheel”); Herb Bushler / bass; and Collin Walcott / percussion, sitar. (Billy Cobham plays drums on “Sunwheel,” and Larry Atamanuik on “Icarus.”)
Paul Winter is a seven-time Grammy-winning saxophonist, whose sextet was the first jazz group to perform at the White House
in 1962. His second group, the Paul Winter Consort, interweaves sounds from the natural world with classical and ethnic traditions, and the spontaneous spirit of jazz. Their annual Winter Solstice Celebrations and Earth Mass are among the most popular events in New York....more