During the 1980s, Windham Hill could be counted on for releasing excellent sampler albums, showcasing some of their impressive stable of artists. Their 1988 edition was no exception and, almost three decades later, this collection of new age and fusion music holds up very well.
This is simply a great album, top to bottom. “Wishing Well” from Schonhez and Scott provides a pleasant introduction before pianist W.A. Mathieu offers the lovely “Unseen Rain.” Shadowfax, a cornerstone of Windham Hill during this period, is next with its “Road To Hanna,” another strong outing from them. Pianist Scott Cossu follows with his beautiful “Angel Steps” followed by Nightnoise’s “Toys Not Ties,” one of that band’s best tunes. Master guitarist Michael Hedges, who was taken way too soon, is in the middle of the album with “Because It’s There” which is up to his usual high standards. Montreux, something of an overlooked Windham Hill staple, offers the upbeat “To Be” followed by “Indian Woman” by Rubaja and Hernandez, a solid atmospheric piece. Minimumalist composer Wim Mertens’ memorable “Close Cover” is next before Windham Hill founder William Ackerman offers “Climbing In Geometry,” one of the best pieces he ever worked on. Composer Tim Story closes the album with the lovely “Woman at the Well.”