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Traditional Christmas music is always a welcome treat this time of year. We’ve grown up with these songs, listening to Nat King Cole, Mel Torme, Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald singing ‘em on the radio. As long as they’re performed tastefully, anything goes. The Green Hill label’s niche is instrumental albums to which one would normally relax, take one’s shoes off, and let the day pass without personal interference. Beegie Adair’s piano trio allows for just that and even adds a dash of jazz spice to the holiday concoction.
Drummer Chris Brown employs swirling brushes on all tunes except one. "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" is performed in a livelier, jazzier state with ride cymbal, lyrical walking bass, and with stronger piano accents on the improvised lines. Staying away from a steady meter, the trio produces a fine jazz arrangement. The rest of the album, however, travels along a straight-laced snow-covered road; it’s a relaxed family affair that offers piano melody and variations. It makes you want to pack the family into the SUV, drive to Beegie Adair’s house, and spend the holidays singing around the fireplace.
Track Listing: Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow; Santa Claus is Coming to Town; Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas; I
Personnel: Beegie Adair- piano; Roger Spencer- acoustic bass; Chris Brown- drums.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.