Christmas II: Whiskers on Kittens...
Pianist Rick Gallagher approaches traditional Christmas fare (save for the original title cut) with a traditional piano trio. While not as outgoing as Skafish, Gallagher has refined chops to burn and shows them off on the upbeat opener "Silver Bells," where he incorporates blues and country elements in his playing. "Snowriding" is a Vince Guaraldi-inspired romp via A Charlie Brown Christmas, full of block chords and Dave Brubeck rhythm changes. Think "Linus And Lucy" crossed with "Blue Rondo A La Turk." "O Little Town Of Bethlehem" is played as a ballad with a "Little Drummer Boy" undercurrent. "The First Noel" has a slight Latin flair and "Carol Of The Bells" a McCoy Tyner a al John Coltrane tension.
A welcome surprise is the elevation of Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmastime" into the seasonal canon where it has always belonged. The Frank Loesser "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve" provides the bona fide standards angle. "I Saw Three Ships" is beautifully off time and jointed. Snowriding is a premier, straight-ahead, holiday jazz recording. Where Skafish chooses to explore, Gallagher chooses to plow even furrows of sound and time.
Tracks and Personnel
A Cellar Live Christmas
Tracks: Jingle Bells; Little Drummer Boy; O Little Town Of Bethlehem; God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen; Away In A Manger; I Saw Three Ships; We Three Kings; O Come, O Come Emmanuel; Dance Of The Sugar Plums; I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.
Personnel: Bruno Hubert Trio: Bruno Hubert: piano; André Lachance: bass; Brad Turner: drums. B3 Kings: Cory Weeds: alto and baritone saxophone; Bill Coon: guitar; Chris Gestrin: B3 organ; Denzal Sinclaire: drums, vocals.
A Very Special Charlie Brown Holiday Collection
Tracks: O Tannenbaum; Linus And Lucy; Rudolph The Ed-nosed Reindeer; Just Like Me; Skating; Jingle Bells; Christmas Time is Here; It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year; The Christmas Song; Fur Elise; Greensleeves.
Personnel: Vince Guaraldi, David Benoit: piano; Alex Al, Fred Marshall, David Hughes: bass; Gerald Albright: tenor saxophone; Jerry Granelli, Vinnie Colaiuta: drums, percussion; Vanessa Williams, Toni Braxton: vocals.
Tidings Of Comfort And Joy: A Jazz Piano Trio Christmas
Tracks: Joy To The World; Deck The Halls; The First Noel; It Came Upon A Midnight Clear; Silent Night; Hark! The Herald Angels Sing; O Come O Come Emmanuel; What Child Is This?; Angles We Have Heard On High; Away In A Manger; We Three Kings Fusion; God Rest Ye Merry Gents; Jingle Bells.
Personnel: Skafish: piano; Lawrence Kohut: bass; Tom Hipskind: drums, percussion.
Tracks: Silver Bells; Snowriding; O Little Town Of Bethlehem; The First Noel; Carol Of The Bells; Wonderful Christmastime; What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?; I Saw Three Ships; Joy To The World; Here We Come A-Wassailing; Caroling, Caroling; It Came Upon A Midnight Clear.
Personnel: Rick Gallagher: piano; Paul Thompson: bass; Tom Wendt: drums; George Jones: percussion.