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Clairdee: This Christmas (2003)

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Clairdee: This Christmas No stars How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

It’s that time of year for celebrations. A party atmosphere surrounds Clairdee’s contemporary gift package, adorned with ribbons of R&B, traditional blues, Latin jazz, and a heartfelt appreciation of the Christmas spirit. She interprets classic songs that have been handed down by favorite composers and lyricists such as Charles Brown, Alec Wilder, Thad Jones, Mel Torme, Sammy Cahn, Jule Styne, and Horace Silver.

Brown’s “Bringing In a New Year” promises to replace the other traditional anthems for that annual night of fun. Clairdee captures the essence and interprets with a festive attitude. Her sumptuous voice ties each familiar song to the season. You can feel the cold of the outdoors, the warmth of the evening fireplace, the solemnity of the church, and the playful antics when toys are discovered under the tree on Christmas morning. She captures each experience and makes it live in our hearts. “Let it snow, let it snow,” sings Clairdee with a carefree mindset that reminds us that we’ve got to take it easy during the holidays. Let the work and the worries and the taxes wait until January.

Supporting Clairdee’s fresh vocal interpretations are a number of like-minded sidemen. John Hoy provides several lovely guitar solos that convey the meaning intended. Dmitri Matheny offers “The Christmas Song” with an appropriately delicate touch, while Glenn Appell wears his clarion tones in all their majesty through “Peace.” Clairdee trades scatted fours with flutist Sheldon Brown on “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” to provide a light feeling of holiday joy. Her vocal duet with Nicolas Bearde on “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” promises to keep this album in our hearts all year long.

Audio samples and more are available at Clairdee’s web site .

Track Listing: Bringing In a Brand New Year; Winter Wonderland; Merry Christmas, Baby; A Child Is Born; Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas; The Christmas Song; Baby, It

Personnel: Clairdee, Nicolas Bearde, Brenda Boykin- vocals; Ken French, Jon Herbst- piano & keyboards; Ron Belcher, Ruth Davies- bass; Deszon Claiborne, Jim Zimmerman- drums; Glenn Appell- trumpet, flugelhorn & harmonica; Sheldon Brown- flute, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone; Dmitri Matheny- flugelhorn; Charles McNeal- alto saxophone; Marty Wehner- trombone; John Hoy, Brian Pardo- guitar.

Record Label: Declare Music

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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