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Shadowfax

One of new age electronic music's earliest and best-known proponents, Shadowfax were formed in Chicago in 1972 by saxophonist Chuck Greenberg, guitarist G.E. Stinson, and bassist Phil Maggini. Originally a blues band, the trio soon began exploring chamber jazz and folk; even medieval music began creeping into the mix, appropriately enough for a group named in honor of a horse from J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series. Adding drummer Stuart Nevitt in 1974, Shadowfax issued their debut LP, Watercourse Way, two years later; failing to make an immediate impact, the quartet did attract a cult following that continued to grow following its subsequent signing to the Windham Hill label. Their commercial breakthrough arrived with the release of 1982's eponymously titled effort, which reached the upper rungs of the Billboard jazz charts; for the follow-up, 1983's Shadowdance, Shadowfax's ranks swelled with the additions of violinist Jamii Szmadzinski and pianist/synth player Jared Stewart. The band endured multiple personnel changes in the years to follow, with founding members Greenberg and Maggini both remaining constants well into the 1990s. However, given Greenberg's leadership position in Shadowfax and role in creating their signature sound (including his playing of the Lyricon electronic wind instrument that he helped to engineer), the group disbanded following the reedman's death from a heart attack while vacationing on California's Santa Cruz Island in September 1995. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi
full bio

Comments

I love shadowfax.
One of the best groups to come out of the Chicago area. To coin a phrase, way ahead of their time. Music still holds today!
good for meditating
I used to babysit for Chuck's kids back in my high school days. Was pretty amazing to be in the house with his Grammy Awards. :)
kj.stuff
I saw them back in college. Enjoyed the concert very much.
I saw them in concert with Micheal Hedges at the Arlington in Santa Barbara. What a show!
mamawallis
Met them in Tampa, FL upon their return from Bangkok, don't recall what year it was. They were staying in the hotel I was employed with and I got to see their show at the Performing Arts Center every night during their stay. Great group of men. So much laughter and such amazing music that week. A bright shining point in my youth.
Such an amazing band. I have been a fan since the mid 90's.
Not quite as hurl-worthy as most of the New Age genre, which is generally grossly sentimental in its harmonies and song production.
very nice .... good beat !
youthaspirat i o n s
First alternative music I ever heard, in the late 80s, on MPBNs new age show.
I got turned on to SHADOWFAX from a friend of mine who has since passed on. now, whenever I hear a song from Folksongs ... like LUCKY MUD, I think of the times we had ... I have several of their albums on my CLOUD list which, if they can fill in a gap, I'll gladly upload ...
heaven!
Have been trying to find their original album "Dreams of Children"
A perfect meld of native American freedom and new age.
shadowfax came along for me in the early 80s- I heard them on college radio in atlanta ga- it was right when all my fave progressive rock bands had either broke up or had gone pop- shadowfax filled a void for me like no other band at the time- I saw them 2 times in atlanta excellent musicians, there music is timeless.
lieutenant27 1
Saw them in the mid 80's in Tallahasse TWICE! I've never been able to find another group that affected me so deeply. I don't know whether it was a "formative years" thing or just the fact that they were making magic... I'll continue to search ... maybe make it out to Burning Man next year!
I saw them my one and only time in Milwaukee when they were touring with the Momix dance company. As others have said, they were an unforgettabl e , once-in-a-li f e t i m e show. I still remember when I found out about Chuck's passing - it was like a blow to the gut and still grieves me to this day. Their music is the balm for my soul. I hope his family and friends know how much he and the band are remembered and revered.
jeff.chruma
Got to see this band live in 1987. Still one of the best concerts I've ever seen. Fantastic musicians. A once in a life time show.
I heard "shadowdance " on a Windham Hill sampler cassette from the 80's. From the way it was labled I couldn't tell the name of the song or group. It was great to rediscover them while listening to a Craig Chaquico station on Pandora. What a great way to learn about music. I usually surf with Pandora on one window and music bio's on another, while "working", It's an ADD thing
In 1985, unfortunatel y , my old car broke down on the way to the only Shadowfax show I would ever have the chance to experience - My new girlfriend and I missed the show, but romance was born for us on the side of the road that night - Shadowfax records became well-played in our house from then on - great memories
a_mcintosh
Great stuff from the early days of Windham Hill!!
Would love to see the other 10+ albums from Shadowfax on here.

The band didn't actually "fall apart" after Chuck Greenberg's (lyricon, saxophones, woodwinds) passing in 1995, it just ceased. Stu Nevitt (drums, percussion) also passed away in 2008. You guys are missed. Thanks for the ride.
voxsusana
Armen Chakmakian was in this band from 1991-1995! Grammy nominated in 1992 for Best New Age Album. Please ask Pandora to add or search for him to add to their requests! Thanks.
A couple of members passed. Ask me about them....
love Kindred Spirits... wow, I thought I was the ONLY one listening to guys like this...
medwards4685
Chuck Greenberg died back in 1995 and the band fell apart without the founding force and key creator. I saw Shadowfax several times, they were soooo tight and gave everyone their money's worth!
No, it's "Kindred Spirits".... a a a a a a a h h h h h . . . .
Are they still around? Seems the "about" ended abruptly, and some commenters are speaking in the past tense...?! I love their "Dreams of Children" album, especially the title track, "Another Country" and one...is it "Shaman Song"...? Just gorgeous....
I had the very good fortune of seeing these guys live in the early 80's, not long after I first heard this recording. I'll never forget it. No waste, no flash, just pure art. Awesome. The way it ought to be.
istahota
great googly-moogl y ! i grew up listening to these guys back in chicago. loved 'em then-love 'em still. and you're right!
what about watercourse way?
Aragorn
muzicricky
INSTEAD OF "NEW AGE", HOW ABOUT "WORLD ETHNIC FUSION?" WHICH IS HOW CHUCK GREENBERG AND THE MUSICIANS PESENTED THEMSELVES ONE EACH AND EVERY ALBUM. SPEAKING OF WHICH TO THE MANAGEMENT AT PANDORA, HOW ABOUT "WATERCOURSE WAY?"
heard them 25 years ago in Atlanta - what a night - still the relaxing tunes can put a raging bull to rest.
I saw Shadowfax once and they were wonderful!! There will never be another group like them again.

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