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Album Review: Night Divides the Day
George Winston
Cover image of the album Night Divides the Day by George Winston
Night Divides the Day
George Winston
2002 / Windham Hill
66 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
When I first heard that George Winston was doing a collection of music by The Doors, I thought it must have been one of those urban legends. Winston and Jim Morrison seem like opposite musical personae - Morrison was the self-styled “Lizard King” and was widely known for his excesses and exploration of the dark side of the human psyche, where Winston performs live in his sox and plaid flannel shirts, and considers himself to be more of a folkie. I, too, was intrigued by The Doors as a teenager, and saw them in concert in Berkeley in the late ‘60’s. Their first two albums had a strong influence on my playing, but even more on my artwork of that time. The raw power and energy was an inspiration to try to capture, and I have many drawings of Morrison and a few of keyboardist Ray Manzarek, who also apparently really likes this album. I love Winston’s take on “People Are Strange,” and found myself dancing around the house singing the lines from the song I could remember after all these years. Winston infuses just the right amount of darkness to keep the edge on the bouncy rhythm. A faithful adaptation of the original, Winston still manages to make this his own. “Love Me Two Times” is a rocker that shows a side of Winston that doesn’t usually get recorded - his rock and early-jazz influences that demonstrate what a powerful and flashy pianist he can be. I love this stuff! I wasn’t sure “Light My Fire,” the song that put The Doors on the musical map, would work as a piano solo, but it does. Winston’s take on the organ and guitar solos in the middle is really fun. Ending the piece with phrases from “The End” also works really well. “My Wild Love” features Winston plucking the piano strings and letting the sound ring, creating an aura of dark mystery. “Summer’s Almost Gone” is almost wrenchingly sad, and Winston keeps it sparse and uncluttered. “I Can’t See Your Face In My Mind” continues in the gloomy style that was such a big part of The Doors - a very effective arrangement that is again faithful to the original, but is still distinctly Winston. “Riders On the Storm” is pitch black with a compelling rhythm and heavy bass line. Much moreso than most of Winston’s recordings, this one is FUN as well as a great tribute to one of rock music’s most mysterious icons of the late 60’s and early ‘70’s. Very highly recommended!
October 20, 2002
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Kathy's Favorites: 2002
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