Various Artists

Windham Hill America

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As the title states, WINDHAM HILL AMERICA is a collection of American tunes played by some of the record label's finest artists. Windham Hill delivers 12 superb tracks on this compilation and, not surprisingly, many of these tunes are culled from the Great American Songbook.

Composers such as George Gershwin, Duke Ellington, and Stephen Foster are represented here. Fred Simon's version of the Bob Dylan classic "The Times They Are A-Changin'" invokes the true beauty of this song's melody. Other standout tracks include Dick Hyman's spiced up rendition of "Solace" by Scott Joplin. Steve Erquiaga's modern jazz interpretation of "Sophisticated Lady," performed on two acoustic guitars, is also a gem. Mandolin great David Grisman combines gypsy jazz with bluegrass for his reading of "Summertime," and Chris Botti uses a Harmon mute to get that late night, steamy Miles Davis sound on "Prelude, No. 2." With so much variety, it might seem that Windham Hill has released a mishmash of tracks. However, the smooth-toned playing of all of these artists allows this album to flow beautifully from song to song.

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