CD Review: George Winston — Love Will Come: The Music of Vince Guaraldi, Vol 2; Playing Presser Hall at Agnes Scott College

George Winston

Love Will Come: The Music of Vince Guaraldi, Vol 2

By Eric Chavez

Looking for that little something to calm your nerves and put a smile on your face? Grammy-award winning solo pianist George Winston knows a thing or two about how to tickle the ivories for that effect. The disc, a collection of covers of Vince Guaraldi, still has the sound of pure Winston.

It’s been nearly four years since his last album, the beautiful Gulf Coast Blues & Impressions: A Hurricane Relief Benefit, and now George Winston is back and more polished than ever. More known for his seasonally-themed pieces, such as Winter into Spring, Summer, and 1980’s classic Autumn, Winston pays hommage to Guaraldi and his life’s work once again.

Listening to Love Will Come gives on the feeling of being in a solo-pianist concert in a full auditorium. Each of the 16 tracks on the disc is strong, yet effortless, and is as real as you can get. Winston slides from track to track in this studio album as if it were live.

“Macedonia / Little David” shows Winston at his most sullen, perhaps making it the most emotional piece of the collection and perhaps the greatest piece of work the solo artist has ever played. While at times the album may slow down, at large it’s an upbeat kind of sound.

Heavily inspired by the Charlie Brown cartoon, Winston plays around with the original compositions, but still leaves in that sense of fun and innocence. So many of the tunes are instantly recognizable, others not so much, but that doesn’t take away from the sheer joy of the tunes. Songs like “Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown” and “Woodstock” take you way back.

It is hard enough to keep the ears entertained with dozens of vocals and instruments throughout a record, but Winston pulls off the solo-piano driven album with utter brilliance. Listening to the disc, though, one cannot help but imagine Linus behind the piano most of the time.

George Winston will perform at Presser Hall on the campus of Agnes Scott College, February 23.  Tickets are on sale now at Ticket Alternative.


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