A Windham Hill Christmas: The Night Before Christmas
Album produced by
Angels We Have Heard On High
Good King Wenceslas
Morning Has Broken
O Joyful Day / O Little Town Of Bethlehem
The First Noël / What Is This Fragrance
It Came Upon A Midnight Clear
Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
Walking In The Air From The Snowman
The Green Trees Of Winter
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
Cherry Tree Carol
Alex De Grassi
Jeff Johnson & Brian Dunning
Giovanna Joyce Imbesi
Tracks 1, 3, 7 Produced by Dawn Atkinson
Track 12 Produced By Corin Nelson
Track 14 Produced By Howard Johnston
Tracks produced by the respective recording artists, exceptions & additionals noted below when applicable
A Windham Hill Christmas: The Night Before Christmas (Sony/BMG 82876 71888) - 2005
The last of the Windham Hill Holiday catalog closes with a solace, both a feeling of completion and a smiling goodbye as it lays itself to sleep (perhaps for the last time). Every track feels quiet, at ease, calm. The last four tracks in particular seem to ebb an everlasting farewell to both the listener and to each other. Sony closed the label in 2007 and though Dawn Atkinson went on to create some wonderful retrospectives for Sony (branded the "Pure" series) this would be the last original content produced by Windham Hill. Dancing Cat was moved to Sony Classical in 2007, effectively shuttering the then 34 year old record label.
But perhaps the Winter's Solstice artistry isn't gone at all, it lives on well through the artists who still perform. Though Sony no longer releases Windham Hill albums, many original Windham HIll Artists do still perform, sometimes under "Winter Solstice" tour banners. Barbara Higbie, Liz Story and Lisa Lynne tend to do small tours together every season, and Alex de Grassi, Will Ackerman, Michael Manring, Sean Harkness and others join in. Tracy Silverman and Jim Brickman do their own Winter tours as well.
In "The Night Before Christmas," Will Ackerman's original Green Trees Of Winter shows his evolution as a guitar master and producer with Jeff Oster and Noah Wilding's contributions both beautiful and haunting. George Winston once again gives us a unique Slack Key performance, this time of the Cherry Tree Carol.
Fred Simon also makes a welcome appearance after being absent since A Winter's Solstice II in 1988. Nearly 20 years later he gives us a unique and beautiful rendition of Howard Blake's Walking In The Air.
Here is Ackerman's Green Trees Of Winter, featuring Jeff Oster and Noah Wilding. What a fitting ending to this beautiful collection.