What's remarkable about George Winston is his sense of space. Winston has never been a florid player. His best music emerges from those spaces where the melody finds its own refractions, unimpeded by the pointless ornamentation and quasi-classical flourishes that tarnish so many pianists who followed in his wake. From the opening of "January Stars," he allows notes to ring out in crystalline resonance, sparkling like the lights in the frigid, midwinter night that inspired the song. Winter into Spring
was Winston's second album for Windham Hill Records. Following up on the themes of his first, Autumn
, it continues down the seasonal road. Several of Winston's signature compositions appear here, including "January Stars" and the extended ruminations of "Rain."
His liner notes are less extensive than those on the re-release of Autumn, but his influences still surprise: from the Doors-inspired darkness of "February Sea" to the minimalist patterns of Steve Reich in "Rain." A bonus track, "(Love Echoes in the) Pine Hills," finds Winston inside the piano, damping the strings with his hands for a percussive effect. It's that kind of adherence to sonic detail that makes Winter into Spring still vital 20 years later. --John Diliberto
Digitally remastered and expanded edition of the Grammy-winning pianist's 1982 album. The album was inspired by the transition of the seasons and was the follow-up to his 1980 album, Autumn.