Pianist and vocalist Rick DellaRatta provides the Christmas season with a breezy collection of holiday favorites delivered with sincere urbanity. The highlight of the disc is the solo piano version of the Mahalia Jackson classic "Go Tell It On The Mountain." Here, better than anywhere else, does DellaRatta display his considerable talent. He digs deep into the blues of the song, uncovering its core of struggle and victory. "Greensleeves [What Child is This]" is taken at a quick clip with Jimmy Madison providing very Elvin Jones-like percussion. "Sleighride" is perfectly accented with Cecilia Tenconi’s flute and DellaRatta’s spare comping.
Rick DellaRatta’s vocals are a bit of an acquired taste, sometimes being stretched too thin across some of the songs. That said, though, his vocals are very effective on "I’ll Be Home for Christmas" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and make this disc a warm and inviting offering for this festive season.
Track Listing: Winter Wonderland; Christmas Song; Santa Claus is Coming to Town;
The Little Drummer Boy; Greensleeves; Christmas Waltz; Go Tell it in The
Mountain; Sleighride; I'll Be Home for Christmas; Have Yourself a Merry
Little Christmas. (Total Time: 60:00).
I love jazz because it is in my blood. It is the only original American art form. It is sacred. The greatest musicians are jazz artists.
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 listening to my father's records of Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Count Basie, Nat King Cole, Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young.
I met Sonny Stitt, Wayne Shorter, Branford Marsalis, Joey Calderazzo, Michael Brecker, Cannonball Adderley, Walter Booker, Dave Liebman, Joe Lovano, George Benson, Mike
Stern, Stanley Turrentine, Billy Harper, Skip Hadden, Charlie Haden.
The best show I ever attended was Joe Lovano with Soundprints at the Wexner Center in Columbus Ohio in 2014.
The first jazz record I bought was Miles Smiles.