How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
It's the time of year for floor-length, sequined gowns, colorful neckties, spiked punchbowls, endless dancing, and repeated trips to the refreshment bar. Singer Steve Tyrell wants to make sure everyone has a good time. For his party, he's invited a few special guests we can certainly appreciate. Tyrell's loose vocal interpretations set everyone at ease. His recording, while running under 40 minutes, serves as the ultimate holiday celebration. Bringing in Clark Terry's mumbles and pleasant trumpet interludes was a stroke of genius. Together on 'The Christmas Song,' they embody the holiday spirit and its tendency to hand down tradition to future generations. Terry represents veteran blood, while Tyrell represents a younger generation that has had its share of yuppie fads these past decades. Veterans Toots Thielemans and Plas Johnson likewise bring a veteran's touch to the program. Blues harp never sounded so alive, and 'The Pink Panther's' tenor saxophone never felt more appropriate. This is a family affair. The program includes a studio orchestra with strings. Tyrell's vocals are served by this pleasant accompaniment. He sings with the confidence of a cousin who's joined the holiday celebration with karaoke microphone in hand and a roomful of smiling faces. His fresh attitude lifts the spirits. When he performs 'Merry Christmas, Baby,' Tyrell makes you break out in all smiles. His interpretation convinces. For a guy who plays Ray Charles' Christmas album every December 25th morning for his children, Tyrell sure does show special feelings for This Time Of The Year.
Track Listing: Santa Claus is Coming to Town; Winter Wonderland; Rudolph the
Red-Nosed Reindeer; The Christmas Song; Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It
Snow!; This Time Of The Year; Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas; I?ll
Be Home for Christmas; The Christmas Blues; Merry Christmas Baby;
What Are You Doing New Year?s Eve?; Here Comes Santa Claus.
Personnel: Steve Tyrell- vocals; Randy Kerber- piano, piano & vibraphone on ?This
Time of Year? and ?What Are You Doing New Year?s Eve?;? Bob Mann-
guitar; Bob Magnusson- bass; John Guerin- drums; Clark Terry- trumpet
on ?Winter Wonderland,? ?Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer? and ?The
Christmas Song,? vocal on ?Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer;? Lou
Marini- flute & clarinet on ?This Time of Year;? Eliot Douglass- piano on
?Here Comes Santa Claus? and ?Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,?
vibraphone on ?Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas;? Lauryn Tyrell,
Marlena Jeter, Dorian Holly- background vocals; Toots Thielemans-
harmonica on ?The Christmas Blues;? Plas Johnson- alto saxophone &
tenor saxophone on ?Merry Christmas Baby? and tenor saxophone on
?What Are You Doing New Year?s Eve?;? Chuck Berghofer- bass on ?Merry
Christmas Baby? and ?Here Comes Santa Claus;? Lew Soloff, Bob
Milliken- trumpet; Lou Marini, Roger Rosenberg- saxophones; Birch
Johnson, Mike Davis, Michael Boshen- trombone; Antoine Silverman,
Natalie Cenovia Cummins, Eric Hammelman, Maxim Moston, Ronald W.
Lawrence, Lorenza Ponce, Anja Wood, Jill Jaffe- strings.