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"Honorary" - though I still have visions of Paul Winter and Friends doing the Vernal Equinox celebration at Stockford Park or maybe at Quoddy light. I mentioned it to our mutual friend, Eugene Friesen, who has performed with Paul for decades. One can dream...

Shortcut: Visit Paul's web site  Sign up for his email list so you don't have to rely on me to know what's coming. Listen to his new CD - "Light of the Sun" and I hope, add it to your collection. The Wood Thrush, in my life, has the most beautiful song of all the beautiful songs there are. Paul's "Well-tempered Wood Thrush" captures it so well. I miss them terribly. One used to sing below my window in Maryland, and I could hear every nuance of their complex and varied performance. As Jack Williams says, they're true jazz musicians. If you have time - hell - *make* time - scroll down to his description of how "WTWT" came to be. Unless you neither like birds, nor music, nor nature, nor life - I think you will be glad you did. I'm glad I did.

Once I get started writing about Paul Winter's work it's hard to stop, so I don't know when I'll do that. Seriously - I wrote my Philosophy 101 term paper on "Missa Gaia" - Earth Mass - and well exceeded the target word quota, but got an A anyway. Added some photos to "Canticle of Brother Sun" and made a video. If you're familiar with his work, you know what I mean. If not, I hope I'll entice you to explore his wonderful creations. Whales, wolves, bears, and birds - they are all part of Paul's musical realm.

I well remember acquiring the first Winter Consort album when it appeared in the record bin at "Macy's" on the island of Kwajalein - sometimes known as "Fantasy Island." It came out in 1968 and I think I arrived on Kwaj late that year but I'd have to look it up. Our wages were tax free and included room and board, so spending was always a challenge. The after work routine was to get off the bus and head for our mailbox, then to Macy's, the main department store named after the famous one. It was next to the post office. If we'd noticed a freighter had docked, we walked a bit faster, or might even skip the post office to get at the goodies before they were gone. These were pre-internet days, overseas calls were non-existent (satellite calls were introduced while I was there..."over"), and mail was gold.

Although I'd been spending my money on records since my part-time job in high school, for some reason I didn't have any of Paul's albums in my collection (there's only so far that $1 an hour will go, and I didn't buy many during my Navy years), so of course I grabbed this one. Apparently I hadn't looked at the liner notes because I was shocked at what I heard when I put the album on. I was expecting something like his earlier jazz work and instead taken to another world. Been hooked ever since. 

As I said, Kwaj was a bit of "Fantasy Island," and typically, the room I shared with a couple of other guys was jammed with stereo stuff. I recall two sets of Bose 901s - one set suspended from the ceiling, the other on opposite sides of the room on top of a set of AR-3s (to add bass), all driven by various amps - at one point we had a Crown 1000 watt amp, and of course lots of Akai and Teac tape decks. All-in-all, a cathedral like sound. Maybe not the Cathedral of St John the Divine where Paul has been celebrating the seasons for decades, but I was certainly spiritually uplifted at this moment (yeah - maybe the scotch helped). 

I'll try to list Paul's upcoming streaming events in the CB Music calendar and if you can attend, I hope you'll enjoy the experience as much as I do. I actually set my alarm for the Vernal Equinox concert this past spring, something I don't do for *anything*. It was worth it. Oh, I could have watched it later, but as it was, my flat screen line up perfectly with the sun rising here in Lubec, so that the trees and sun seemed to extend the scene. A mystical experience, as are the wonderful Winter Solstice celebrations, which have been streamed live from the Cathedral.

Covid plans for 2021 are for a retrospective of past solstices. From past experience, I haven't the slightest doubt this one will be a grand remembrance indeed.