What are your top 5 Windham Hill recordings?

Windham Hill Records was founded by William Ackerman and Anne Robinson in 1976. Guitarist William Ackerman released the first Windham Hill recording in 1976 titled "The Search For The Turtle's Navel" and ending with George Winston's 'Summer" released in 1991 after 100+ unique recordings for the original label. Ackerman sold part of his interest to BMG in 1992 followed by Anne Robinson in 1996. IMO the label is overlooked by many audiophiles considering the label offers above average sound quality and has many talented musicians. My interest in Windham Hill has peaked since finding several excellent recordings at thrift stores that were unknown to me. The more obvious WH recordings have been in my collection since the 80's  "Solid Colors" - "December" and "Aerial Boundaries" but I think there are many more gems in the WH catalogue. I appreciate your time and look forward to your replies.
"December", which you already mentioned and "An Evening Live With" (from the early/mid 80's).

I only have "Live With" on LP, but think it came out on CD as well.

There is another one of children's songs (CD), but I don't recall the title.

alex degrassi - slow circle and clockwork
mark isham - vapor drawings
michael hedges  ariel boundaries

and of course

george winston's december

The only one I ever wanted is Aerial Boundaries, which I found.  It is a terrific record for content and sound quality.

all music has a purpose... for wh -- they are mostly beautiful atmospheric music, to play in background when focusing on something else, or just pure relaxation and clearing of the mind
"Yaaaaaawwwwnnnn fest!" is just OK IMO.

The children's songs I mentioned earlier is "On a Starry Night".

I have other albums of world wide lullabies on other labels.

"Yaaaaaawwwwnnnn fest!"    

If you can't just ignore something and feel you have to dump on the OP's musical tastes, perhaps you would be better suited to Twitter or TikTok.
I've liked all of Michael Hedges' records. There were also some delightful recordings from Tuck & Patti which are somewhat unlike Windham Hill's typical artist selection.
@dekay Thx for the input! Scott Cossu-Islands(WH-033) was the thrift store find that rates 5 stars(IMO). How ironic that many audiophiles will pay 100+ dollars for a Patricia Barber recording but mock the entire Windham Hill catalogue?
We like the compilations:  Sanctuary- 20 Years of Windham Hill (2 CD) and Windham Hill Sampler ‘96. Relaxing, interesting, occasionally edgy, sometimes spacey music. We like all the artists, couldn’t really pick a fav.
Also have four compilation discs of Holiday music that get into the rotation during the season.
I’m always looking for other WH, just like KINK Lights Out CDs. I have most of those.
Thanks for the post, haven’t played that Sanctuary in a while but will.

i totally forgot tuck n patti were originally with windham hill

yes indeed! they are among my all time favorites - brilliant artists and wonderful people too

really miss the ritual of going to their thanksgiving or xmas live shows at yoshi’s!
I am not certain if I have any other Windham Hill label records in my collection.  However, I just picked a copy of Michael Hedges "Watching My Life Go By" which is on Windham Hill label.  I had that album on CD since it first came out.  I only learned about 2 weeks ago that it was also on vinyl and found a NM copy on Discogs.  I love the music, Michael Hedges was such a talented guitar player, he could make the guitar sound like three instruments, at the same time.  I was hoping the vinyl would be a great production since I knew the recording was excellent (on the CD).  WOW!  This is a fabulous sound quality piece of vinyl.  Completely analogue from microphone, to mixing board, and all the way down the path to pressing vinyl copies.  I'll buy anything I can find on the Windham Hill label.  Outstanding quality!
Thx to all that have replied. I think the image of WH has been tarnished by the print media and even music blogs. Is most of the WH catalogue as intense as a Coltrane or Blackmore solo? No but great music does not always need a level of 10 intensity. On a personal note I stated(Agon blog) Miles Davis/Bitches Brew was not a great(5 star) recording that I would rather listen to some Chuck Mangione. An Agon blogger basically called me a moron but I decided to just let it slide. New Age music along with fusion(smooth) jazz has the image of compromise when in reality it’s just another genre of music with many excellent recordings.

Shadowdance/ Shadowfax 1983, is just one of the many very delightful Windamhill Albums I own; I bought each one when it was new.


Music to a great degree is an indicator of the socioeconomic and intellectual level of the listener.


When it comes to music, many on this forum are quite limited, but I never let that bother me in regard to my listening pleasure.
Shadowfax - Shadowfax
Alex Degrassi - Clockwork 
Darol Angor and Barbara Higbie - Tideline
Liz Story - Solid Colors
Windham Hill Guitar Sampler

I listen to classic rock, alternative rock, R&B, jazz, blues, folk, reggae, world music, electronic music, and new age.  I have numerous Windham Hill CDs and the five I listed are on constant rotation. Why limit yourself to just one type of music?

For anyone interested and nearby, I was in Lynchburg VA a few weeks ago and popped into Riverview Records to browse around a bit a found an entire section filled with WH LPs. More than I have seen in one place anywhere I've ever been. They were fairly priced and appeared in good collection. It looked as though they were purchased from a collector/audiophile that obtained the entire catalogue. Nice shop too, with some vintage gear including a pair of Acoustats flanking the main wall. 

FWIW, I particularly like the recordings by Alex DiGrassi and Michael Hedges. Hard to find better recorded solo acoustic guitar and these guys play their instrument very, very well (though totally different styles)

The only ones that hold up for me, are he Shadofax releases.

First of all, they have more complexity and band interplay than most of the others I have heard, and since they originally came from the prog genre, they still retain quite a bit of their proginess for me.

Their frist release on Passport records, was a full on, intense, complex, chops laden prog album. Far from the toned down releases they did for WH.

And even when I saw them play live, after their 2nd WH release, they played all the WH material with substantially more intensity than on the recordings. It’s like, you could tell where their hearts were so to speak. More intense proggy fusion, in other words.

Michael Hedges - Taproot. The song “I Carry Your Heart” is amazing. 
Nightnoise - At The End of The Evening 

William Ackerman - The Sound of Wind Driven Rain

All of the Windhill Guitar Samplers.