Community Center News


November 2018

11/30/18: FREE Paul Winter Consort Musical Tracks to Download!

From Paul Winter: 

"This Winter Solstice we will pay homage to the half-century lineage of the Consort. Listening now to our early recordings, I’m grateful to be able to feel that they have, at least for me, stood the test of time. We are working toward an anniversary boxed-set of our many recordings, which will be released  in 2019.

For now, we want to offer free downloads of some of this music here..."

"My first band, the Paul Winter Sextet, had a great run in the early ‘60s, and the experiences from our travels led me to envision a new kind of group, one that would embrace all the traditions  I had come to love. It was while living in Brazil, then, in the mid-‘60s, that I got much of the inspiration for the instrumentation of this new ensemble. The group evolved then after that with the encouragement of my friend Paul Stookey (of Peter, Paul and Mary), who produced our first two albums. I chose the name “Consort” for the band, full well realizing that people might think it was just “concert” spelled wrong. I liked both meanings of the word:

Cónsort, /?känsôrt/, Noun: A small group of musicians making music together.

Consórt, /k?n?sôrt/, Verb: To associate, accord, harmonize; get together.

I wrote a manifesto for this new band:

“My idea of consort is an organic ensemble in which the authentic voice of each player can be heard, and in which ensemble-playing and soloing are of equal importance. I imagine it as an analog to a pure democracy, in which there is equal commitment to the well-being of the whole and to the expression of each individual within it. Everyone’s vote (voice) counts.   

Free Consort Tracks

Here are 8 tracks from the Consort’s first period (1968 to 1972).

  1. “Ballad in 7/8” (Trad. Rumanian; arr. Winter)

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.

  1. “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”).

  1. “The Famous Pirate” (Leopold Weiss; arr. Winter)

I became fascinated early on with the 13-string Baroque Lute, which is like a classical guitar on steroids. Karl Herreshoff was a superb guitarist who was also a student of this amazing lute. This composition is 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. 

  1. “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. 

  1. “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 for the Consort, "Icarus," 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 he gave those astronauts a cassette of this album, to listen to en route to the moon. The astronauts got to name new craters they discovered, and they named two of them from these pieces they liked on the album.)

These three tracks are from our 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.

  1. “Ode to a Fillmore Dressing Room” (David Darling)

David Darling played the seed-themes of this piece in the dressing room at the Fillmore East, in New York, 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. This piece gave us a context for continuing our exploration of new instruments, including the contrabass sarrusophone (heard in the introduction and ending), and the sitar, which Collin Walcott had learned during the years he was road manager for Ravi Shankar. This piece incorporates a unique string quartet, of classical guitar, sitar, cello, and bass. 

  1. “Sunwheel” (Ralph Towner)
  2. “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.”)"


Download FREE tracks:

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