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Album Review

Chaise Lounge: A Very Chaise Lounge Christmas

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Chaise Lounge: A Very Chaise Lounge Christmas
Sparkling holiday music from the Washington, DC area group Chaise Lounge. Calling what they do "martini-jazz" gives them license to toss just about anything into the stylistic mix, and they have an eclectic good time with it. The use of "Christmas" in the album title is a bit of a misnomer, since only about half of the songs actually are Christmas songs—the rest have more general holiday or winter season themes. The opener, a jump blues cover of Jimmy Charles' 1960 hit "Christmasville USA," gets things off to an exuberant start. "Mister Santa" (the 1950s a capella hit "Mr. Sandman" with seasonal lyrics) subverts expectations with its Dixieland arrangement, while the traditional "Good King Wenceslas" has the non-traditional instrumentation of guitar, hand drums, and accordion.

Guitarist/pianist Charlie Barnett provides three strong original additions to the holiday song canon: "December 25," the ballad "The Heart of December," and the exuberant "Snow Day" (which will bring a smile to anyone whose childhood included those wonderful unscheduled days off from school). It's a crack sextet, but special honors have to go to winning vocalist Marilyn Older, who is never less than charming, and ready for every stylistic twist that is thrown at her.

It's a fun-filled half hour, enjoyable even to a Grinch like me who is no fan of holiday music. Highly recommended if you enjoy holiday music with a bit of jazz flavor.

Track Listing

Christmasville U.S.A.; December 25; Mister Santa; Good King Wenceslas; The Heart of December;Snow Day; The Man With the Bag; Cool Yule; The Little Drummer Boy; Lo, How a Rose E're Blooming.

Personnel

Marilyn Older: vocals; Charlie Barnett: guitar, piano; Tommy Barrick: drums; John Jensen: trombone; Gary Gregg: sax, clarinet, flute; Pete Ostle: bass, tuba.

Album information

Title: A Very Chaise Lounge Christmas | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Modern Songbook Records

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