Paul Winter's "Light of the Sun" as Fresh as Fresh Air Itself

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Paul Winter's Light of the Sun

When I say that the music on this CD is fresh as fresh air, I mean that in a much deeper sense than the first thing that may pop into your mind.

In his own words, Paul Winter wanted this album to be a celebration of light. “With the title of Light of the Sun, I intended to embrace the many meanings we attribute to light: light as spirit, love, consciousness, human kindness, serenity, heart, exaltation, fire, the light that is integral to beauty, and the smile that reflects the sunshine in our heart.” Paul continues, saying, “Music is the common medium that can embody both the spiritual and physical aspects of light.”

To that end I feel Paul succeeds in accomplishing that desire, something that many artists hope to achieve in their works but sadly fall short.

Regarding my tag line, and to build on Paul’s own words: while, yes, most certainly the music on this CD has a newness to it, so that you don’t feel as if you heard it all before and it’s just rearranged, it has a feeling of naturalness. It conveys itself as a part of nature and the universe itself. One doesn’t know where a summer breeze comes from, but it exists right? We feel it, we take it in, we enjoy it, and it makes us feel good, like we’re one with the earth and universe, even though we don’t know why it is.

I have heard it said before that music, not mathematics, makes up the fabric of the universe. After listening to this CD, I am more convinced than ever that there is more truth in that than theory; that music itself was created by God just as a summer breeze is: to unite man with all His creation in a oneness with enjoyment that goes deep into one’s being.

I know you may be thinking: “What is he talking about here?” And that is a fair cop, because you haven’t heard it yet. But! -- once you listen to this CD, and by listen, I mean listen, not set it on as background music -- I am convinced that what I’m saying here will make perfect sense to you, and that you will agree with me

This CD covers the essence of an entire day, from sunrise to sundown, as well as all of the seasons of a year. Listening to this album I got that feeling Paul was wanting to convey.

Quite frankly this album is one of the most beautiful albums I have ever heard--not only in sound, ambiance and purity of tone, but in composition as well. Paul’s mastery of the sax in the venues where this album was recorded, puts forth an essence of tonal purity that is simply breathtaking. The acoustic spaces of the venues, both inside and out, allow the sound of the sax to hang there in space, giving it an almost ethereal feel to it.

The other instruments on this album, from the great organ in New York’s Cathedral of Saint John The Divine, to the acoustic guitar, piano, and cello that accompany his playing, never overshadow or overpower it but accompany it perfectly -- a testament to the fine musicians that play with Paul on this album: Paul Halley, Jeff Holmes, Denny Zeitlin, Don Grusin, Oscar Castro-Neves and Eugene Friesen.

I am fighting the temptation to call this music Jazz New Age music. It’s different than either, though by some standards it may be placed within those designations. To me, it is much deeper than that. It seems more apropos to call it “Music of the Universal”.

From the opener, “Sun Singer,” (which has an almost BLADE RUNNER feel to it) to the acoustic guitar opening of “Primavera,” to the chirping of the birds while Paul’s sax is playing on “Canyon Chaconne” – it’s all one beautiful song after another. And the way the organ comes in and grows on “Winter’s Dream,” and then fades back behind the sax ,and how Paul’s sax sounds like an owl mixed in with other forest sounds on the “Well-Tempered Wood Thrush” is just enchanting!

Don’t make a mistake and consider this to be background music or music to listen to when you turn in at night. This is music you’ll want to listen to for enjoyment and when you want to leave the world’s stress behind and get back to feeling what it is to be human again. It is so beautifully recorded and draws you into it as you listen – you can easily hear all of the instruments defined, but playing in harmony with each other, with Paul’s sax hanging in air center stage.

Each of these songs -- most new, others unique reinterpretations of some of Paul’s iconic “chestnuts” -- allow the genius of Paul Winter’s years of playing and creating to come through, showcasing not only what he plays, but how he plays it.

I can’t recommend this album highly enough. When you can listen to something and it makes you feel not only good, but peaceful and refreshed, and also somehow give you a better outlook on the day, how can a rating do it justice?


  1. Sun Singer
  2. My Father’s Smile
  3. Dolphin Morning
  4. Hymn
  5. Primavera (Spring)
  6. The well-Tempered wood Thrush
  7. Quiet Now
  8. Turning
  9. Wolf Eyes
  10. Canto Triste (Sad Song)
  11. Sweet Home
  12. Canyon Chaconne
  13. Wintersong
  14. Winter’s Dream
  15. Inner Peace
5.0 / 5.0