284

Alex Leonard: Merry Cool Christmas

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Alex Leonard: Merry Cool Christmas

...A wonderfully weird Christmas Confection.

Merry Cool Christmas is the most intriguing release of the 2002 holiday season. It encompasses a broad horizon of musical styles and moods. "Silent Night" (a daring choice to begin a disc) as a quiet piano trio ballad, showing off pianist and leader Alex Leonard’s soft and thoughtful touch. As a microcosm of the rest of the record "Silent Night" illustrates a trio empathy reminiscent of Bill Evan’s famous 1961 trio recordings. This empathy permeates the entire recording as this fine rhythm section transports the listener through an engaging set of holiday standards. "Carol of the Bells" resembles Dave Brubeck’s "Blue Rondo a la Turk" in its modulation between the original time signature and a 4/4 jazz groove.

Mr. Leonard also sings in a careful, swinging manner, highlighting "God Rest, Ye Merry Gentlemen," "Here comes Santa Claus," and "Let it Snow," among others. His voice is a bit of an acquired taste, but is no bad. His piano playing is top-drawer, betraying thoughts of Bill Evans, Erroll Garner, and Hank Jones. Edward Brown adds some provocative lute and guitar to "Bring a Torch, Jeannette, Isabella," "What Child is This," and "The Holly and The Ivy," giving these pieces an ancient feel before Mr. Leonard strikes up the band. Merry Cool Christmas is the most fully realized and creative of all of the Holiday offerings I have heard this year.

Visit www.alexleonard.com .


Track Listing: Silent Night; God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman; Carol Of The Bells; Bring A Torch; Here Comes Santa Claus; Deck The Hall; What Child Is This; O Little Town Of Bethlehem; Little Drummer Boy; Let It Snow; The Holy And The Ivy; It Came Upon A Midnight Clear; Away In A Manger; Under A Blue Christmas Tree; Auld Lang Syne. (Total Time: 60:00).

Personnel: Alex Leonard

Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Al Bal Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Noumenon" CD/LP/Track Review Noumenon
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 26, 2016
Read "This is Life" CD/LP/Track Review This is Life
by Jerome Wilson
Published: September 29, 2016
Read "Presidential Suite (Eight Variations on Freedom)" CD/LP/Track Review Presidential Suite (Eight Variations on Freedom)
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 25, 2016
Read "Flying Machines" CD/LP/Track Review Flying Machines
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 29, 2016
Read "Southern Avenue" CD/LP/Track Review Southern Avenue
by James Nadal
Published: February 10, 2017
Read "Honey For The Biscuit" CD/LP/Track Review Honey For The Biscuit
by James Nadal
Published: August 13, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!