How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Justin Time's eclectic catalogue treats the holiday season to timeless material. From Bach to boogie, a wide variety suits this time of the year. Frosted windowpanes and frosted drinking glasses nudge our attitudes along the path that we need – badly – to round out the year. As a time for reflection and a time for making significant new year plans, the holiday seasonneedsa little jazz. When Ranee Lee sings "Santa Baby" with congas and guitar, she sets the mood firmly in place. It's personal. While softly scatting "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen," Johanne Blouin brings us memories. These are standards, and they're presented in standard fashion. Even Hugh Ragin's trumpet quartet, the World Saxophone Quartet, David Murray, and Michael Marcus walk the straight and narrow for holiday music. John Stetch takes "Christmas Time is Here" somewhat outside the norm. It's him! Solo piano need not be average. An exceptional pianist, Stetch offers a taste of what makes Justin Time tick. He's followed by a down-home blues celebration from Bryan Lee's powerful roadhouse band. Oliver Jones offers a lovely arrangement of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" that develops gradually from solo piano into a quartet presentation full of glory. David Murray and the Gwo Ka Masters, like the World Saxophone Quartet, veers away from the ordinary while maintaining respect for Christmas. The jazz spectrum is wide. It's this variety that makes Justin Time's 3rd Christmas volume such a recommended treat.
Track Listing: Wohl Mir Dab ich Jesum Habe; The Christmas Song; Christmas Waltz; Santa Baby; We Three Kings; God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen; Christmas Time is Here; Christmas Blues; Jezu Malusienki (O Little Jesus); It Came Upon a Midnight Clear; The Christmas Song; Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas; Silent Night; No
Personnel: Ranee Lee, Jeri Brown, Johanne Blouin, Guy Konket, Kenny Colman- vocals; Bryan Lee- vocals, guitar; Milton Sealy, Oliver Jones, Ian Smith, John Hicks, Jaki Byard, Miles Black, Jan Jarczyk, Cedar Walton, George Cables, John Stetch, George Rossy- piano; Dave Young, Alec Walkington, Ralph Hamperian, Reginald Washington, Andr