Though his own sound is evident, George Winston also evokes James Booker, Henry Butler, Dr. John, and Professor Longhair in this tribute to the sound and spirit of New Orleans. The high point, “When The Saints Go Marching In”, opens with a long, waltz-time introduction in a minor key; Winston’s muscular attack and dramatic shifts in tempo set up a switch to major tonality for an exuberant rendition of the familiar tune. Never has this artist, whose proceeds for this album go to hurricane relief, played so robustly, so joyfully and yet with such intimations of darkness. It is about as close to New Orleans, and as far from new age pabulum, as any Montana-born pianist can hope to get.
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