Paul Winter - sax, reeds, keyboards, vocals; David Darling - cello; Nancy Rumble - oboe, English horn, piano; Michael Blair - drums, percussion; Jim Scott - guitar; John Gutten - bass, guitar; MIchael Holmes - keyboards; Warren Bernheardt - piano
This King Biscuit Flower Hour broadcast from 1978 was captured at New York's Bottom Line, when Paul Winter and his group, Consort, were getting a sizable amount of positive press. Winter, a progressive jazz musician with a classically-trained background, had launched the modern World Beat movement, and was one of the earliest pioneers known for embracing musical genres of other cultures.
This show features a stellar cast of musicians; his core lineup from Consort including Paul McCandles and Ralph Towner had departed to form Oregon, but his new band was every bit as good. Featured, among others, are Michael Blair on drums (future percussionist for Paul McCartney and the Black Eyed Peas, among others), Jim Scott on guitar, David Darling on acoustic and electric cellos, among other instruments, and Warren Bernheardt on piano.
Paul Winter is an accomplished musician, with sax being his main instrument. Prior to this show, he had begun experimenting with fusing art and nature, recording the sounds of wild animals, including whales, wolves, and bald eagles. His 1977 A&M release, Common Ground, which featured music built around these animal recordings, received rave reviews and formed the basis of this tour. The rest of the material is from the 1977 release, Earthdance. He closes the show with his 1972 breakthrough song, "Icarus." Winter faithfully re-created these recordings during this show, all the while contributing lengthy explanations to the audience about the songs and how they were originally conceived and recorded.
Winter has continued to have a revolving door membership in Consort, but would firmly establish himself as an icon in the progressive jazz and new age movements. He also became known for his ability to record his albums in unique environments such as the Grand Canyon and St John the Divine Cathedral in Manhattan.