The David Leonhardt Jazz Group: I'll Be Home for Christmas (2005)
With "Jingle Bells," for example, the pianist turns loose a cannonade of keyboard attacks over a natural New Orleans shuffle rhythm. The trio makes this one fit the season with images of holiday cheer and outdoor fun. "I'll Be Home for Christmas" strikes a somber chord as Larry McKenna's tenor delivers the featured melody convincingly.
Nancy Reed is featured on five of the album's fifteen tracks with a proud voice that coats each of these traditional holiday favorites with jazz attire. She interprets lyrics convincingly and scat sings with authority. Not merely a vocal interpreter, Reed serves as a vital member of the group, adding her voice to the mix as a representative instrument from the jazz community.
David Leonhardt's recommended Christmas album provides adventurous interpretations of favorite holiday songs with a welcome jazz spirit that carries through the entire year.
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Track Listing: Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow; O Christmas Tree; Winter Wonderland; We Three Kings; Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas; Jingle Bells; Santa Claus is Comin' to Town; I'll Be Home for Christmas; God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen; Sleigh Ride; It Came Upon a Midnight Clear; Frosty the Snowman; The Christmas Song; Here Comes Santa Claus; White Christmas.
Personnel: David Leonhardt: piano; Matthew Parrish: bass; Taro Okamoto: drums; Larry McKenna: tenor and soprano saxophone; Nancy Reed: vocals.
Record Label: Big Bang Records