Rick Gallagher: A Sleigh, A Song & A Baby Boy (2002)
Like it or not folks - and what's not to like - that Season is upon us with all its attendant musical fantasies, sugarplum fairies, and the other appropriate traditional items and trappings of the holy season. So the market will be loaded with releases of jazz, variety pop, classical and Latin, Holiday, modern Latin, calypso and bossa nova mixed in well so the result is a true bouillabaisse a Christmas nog. The thing they have in common is that very little of it will be original material. Rather, it will complie earlier releases designed to create a nostalgic glow for the listener.
Gallagher's group mixes it up a bit with a play list peppered by traditional stuff, religious and tunes, and church going material which started out as pop hits and which have now been moving toward the traditional category with the passage of time. Gallagher's quartet recorded this disc in the studio, following up their latest album, "Sweet Potato Eyebrows". As with his earlier material and with the change in music style, Gallagher continues to prove he his is a hardhitting pianist with plenty of go get them rhythm and lyricism. Whether it be playing a block chord version of "O Holy Nigh", or one of his originals or the National Public Radio traditional verses, "Sing We Now of Christmas", the joy, pathos, exuberance which is generally propagated by a much larger group comes through.
Paul Thompson's bass makes some very high level, listenable, ear catching bass noises on this cut.
This is a Class A CD released by some very first classy performers and is totally recommended.
Track Listing: Sleigh Ride; The Little Drummer Boy; Hark! The Herald Angels Sing; The Holy and the Ivy; O Come all Ye Faithful; God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen; O Holy Night; A Come, O Come Emmanuel; Let it Snow; Have a Merry Little Christmas; A Child Is Born; Sing We Know of Christmas; Silent Night
Personnel: Rick Gallagher; Piano; Thomas Wendt - Drums; George Jones - Percussion