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Windham Hill Looks Back at 30-Year History With 'Pure'

Guitarist Will Ackerman was working as a carpenter when he decided to borrow a few hundred dollars to press and distribute his own record. That album, released in 1976, marked the beginning of the revolutionary new age music label, Windham Hill Records. Windham Hill takes a look back at its 30-year history with a new compilation series, "Pure."

Will Ackerman was the first artist to record for Windham Hill, and the first to be featured on Pure. It's only fair since Ackerman founded the company, and even though he sold his interest in it years ago, he hasn't completely severed his ties.

Capitalizing on 30 years of steady sales, Windham Hill hopes to attract a new audience by re-introducing 10 acts that helped grow Windham Hill into a global empire. For those not yet acquainted, Windham Hill's Pure offers a second chance to meet some of the early pioneers of the acoustic new age movement, like Shadowfax.

Branching out from solo instrumental offerings to more eclectic releases, Windham Hill signed Shadowfax in 1982. The band's mix of folk, rock, jazz and world music opened the door to other crossover releases, including Celtic jazz, Native American folk and spoken word, as well as electronic, Latin and vocal music.

One of Windham Hill's early discoveries was husband-and-wife duo Tuck & Patti. Patti Cathcart sings and Tuck Andress plays guitar.

The pop standard "As Time Goes By" appears on "Pure Tuck & Patti."

Also featured in the Pure series are guitarists Michael Hedges and Alex de Grassi, pianist Liz Story, folk singer John Gorka, trumpeter Mark Isham, Celtic quartet Nightnoise, and one of Windham Hill's more recent additions, pianist Jim Brickman.