Yellowjackets: Peace Round (2003)
Bob Mintzer airs the melody of the album's title track, an 8-measure round with solemn overtones. Christmas is a time for peaceful scenes, which the Yellowjackets supply one after another. Jimmy Haslip takes the feature on "O Little Town of Bethlehem" with a powerful foundation that can last for millennia. Jean Baylor sings "The First Noel" without much elaboration; the holidays are a time for simplicity and a return to nature.
Why overdress a traditional carol such as that one? The Yellowjackets do each of the listed Christmas carols justice with a mellow passion for all things gentle. This isn't music for banging heads or for shouting from the rooftops. That's what the rest of the year is for.
Track Listing: Little Drummer Boy; Silent Night; Deck the Halls; Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas; Peace Round; The First Noel; God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen; Oh Little Town of Bethlehem; Winter Wonderland; In a Silent Night.
Personnel: Bob Mintzer- tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone; Russell Ferrante- keyboards; Jimmy Haslip- bass; Marcus Baylor- drums, Jean Baylor- vocal on "The First Noel."
Record Label: Telarc Records