- Released: September 28, 1999
- Label: Windham Hill Records
Dirty Linen - 12/99-1/00, p.84
"...the undisputed master of contemporary solo piano and his lyrical piano style is often imitated but never duplicated....lovely and as soothing..."
- 2.Before Barbed Wire
- 4.Give Me Your Hand / La Valse
- 5.No Ke Ano Ahiahi
- 7.Teach Me Tonight
- 8.RainSong (Fortune's Lullabye)
- 9.Merry Go Round
- 10.The Dance
- 12.The Swan
- 13.I Ke la LaDana (Queen's Jubilee)
- 14.Plains (Eastern Montana Blues)
- 16.Waltz For the Lonely
- 17.Sase (Sassy) - (solo guitar, bonus track)
- 18.Muliwai - (solo guitar, bonus track)
Early pressings include two limited edition bonus tracks.
Solo performer: George Winston (guitar, piano).
Includes liner notes by George Winston.
All tracks have been digitally mastered using HDCD technology.
PLAINS was nominated for the 2000 Grammy Award for Best New Age Album.
A distinctly American sensibility comes shining through the august soundscapes of master new-age pianist George Winston. This is not too surprising. In addition to his generous catalog of releases for Windham Hill, Winston has also written the soundtracks to a Charlie Brown film on the Constitution and released albums on the Informed Democracy label.
PLAINS makes clear, however, that there are some dark, occasionally unsettling undertones to Winston's aesthetic. Such shadows belie the notion that new age is a genre without a sinister side. For one thing, Winston is not afraid to drift into angular, Thelonious Monk-like playing, as he does on a reading of Angelo Badalamenti's "The Swan." Despite the familiar rolling rushes of melody that introduce the album-opening "Dubuque," calling to mind, as they always do, Civil War documentaries and pre-game baseball tributes, Winston plays a portion of the song's refrain on plucked piano strings. "Before Barbed Wire" is another highlight, its lightly roiling melodic tension resolving into gushes of major chords. For good measure, PLAINS includes two slack-key solo guitar pieces--played by Winston himself--as bonus tracks.