Artist: George Winston Track: "New Orleans Shall Rise Again" Album: Solo Piano: Gulf Coast Blues & Impressions Listen
George Winston, a musician as American as Cole Porter or Duke Ellington, didn't need to mention that his latest effort would be based on "impressions" of the storm-torn South. This is how the songwriter functions - by implication, by nuance, by producing in a fistful of ivory notes the pain and promise and hope of a thing.
Here his focus is New Orleans, and his impeccable solo piano borrows from Scott Joplin, Professor Longhair, Alan Toussaint, Dr. John and others who made the place worth saving. And Winston is obsessed with the possibility of reviving the region through evoking its past.
Musicians have been crucial to raising awareness and resources in the aftermath of Katrina, and numerous compilation discs have profiled the heritage of New Orleans' blues, Creole, jazz, swamp rock and zydeco. Winston's apporach is more subtle, like most of his work: This series of work functions as a respectful ode to the past by standing on its shoulders to produce something entirely new.
George Winston will play the Renaissance Performing Arts Center in Mansfield on Thursday, November 15. For more info, click to georgewinston.com.