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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).
Jazz is a continuing revelation. The best show I ever attended was the
Roots Picnic at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, or was it Robert
Glasper's Experiment at Lincoln Center, or was it Chick Corea with
Brian Blade at Oberlin College? Most of all I enjoy playing guitar and
composing beats with my Brooklyn-based group Space Captain.