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Holiday Reviews & Articles

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chris Pasin: Baby It's Cold Outside

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Chris Pasin clearly buys into the idea that spreading holiday cheer with and for those who are near and dear is a beautiful manifestation of the Christmas spirit. For Baby It's Cold Outside the veteran trumpeter gathered seven of his musical chums and put together a program of tried-and-true yuletide nuggets, remaining loyal enough to the templates while also juicing the mix. Six different personnel configurations are in play across this album's eleven tracks--everything from a Patricia ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Holiday Roundup 2017

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Here is this year's holiday albums I received for review. They are an exceptionally varied lot, ranging from contemporary pop to mainstream jazz--there's even one big band Hanukkah album! I wanted to make special mention of an exceptionally beautiful album that I reviewed late last year, after I had published the 2016 Roundup: Olga Konkova & Jens Thoresen: December Songs. An extraordinary guitar/piano duo performance, highly recommended. Various Artists Holidays Rule Volume 2 Capitol Records ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The U.S. Army Blues: Swinging In The Holidays

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Many a Christmas album plays the role of aural security blanket, serving up gently nostalgic sentiments to soothe the common man. This isn't one of them. The U.S. Army Blues--the big band outgrowth/offshoot of The United States Army Band “Pershing's Own"--ushers in the holiday season with an exciting set that's more well-oiled romp than relaxing balm. Over the course of fifteen numbers this tight outfit delivers with might and flight. SGM Craig Fraedrich's arrangement of Leroy Anderon's ...

BAILEY'S BUNDLES

Holiday 2017 III - Popular

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Finally! We make it to the finish line of another year. Here are some popular Holiday music fare. David Ian Vintage Christmas Trio Prescott Records 2017 Pianist David Ian has made a cottage industry around mid-century piano-trio jazz, a la the Vince Guaraldi Mad Men cultural axis. Ian follows up a particularly fruitful 2014 Holiday Jon Estes who has been along for the since the beginning and drummer Josh Hunt who has ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

David Ian: Vintage Christmas Trio

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You can see the snow gently drifting down through the sky, taste the eggnog, and feel the yuletide spirit gently wrapping its arms around you as Vintage Christmas Trio pleasantly glides on by. Building on a branding-savvy holiday portfolio that includes Vintage Christmas (Prescott Records, 2011) and Vintage Christmas Wonderland (Prescott Records, 2014), pianist David Ian delivers a stripped-down set of ten holiday chestnuts that values clarity and concision. While vocals factored into the earlier Vintage Christmas ...

BAILEY'S BUNDLES

Holiday 2017 II - Classical

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It was a good year for Messiahs and an equally good one for the “classically-related" repertoire. Piffaro: The Renaissance Band Drive the Cold Winter Away: A Renaissance Christmas Celebration Self Produced 2017 Lutes, theorboes, sacbuts, recorders, krumhorns, bagpipes, shawms and harps, that is what makes up the instrumentation for popular Renaissance fare, circa 1450 to 1700. Piffaro: The Renaissance Band has carved a career from addressing the music of the period on Arkiv ...

BAILEY'S BUNDLES

Holiday 2017 I – Georg Frederic Handel’s "Messiah"

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A banner year for Handel's warhourse. Charlesworth, Rupert; Wolf, Andreas; Niquet, Hervé; Concert Spirituel Chorus; Pichanick, Anthea; Piau, Sandrine; Concert Spirituel Orchestra; Katherine Watson Messiah. HWV 56 (1754 Version) Alpha Records 2017 The past several years has seen provocative French productions of Handel's flagship Messiah. These include Benoit Haller's spare but taut 2013 account with La Chapelle Rhenane on K617 Records and Emmanuelle Haim's and Le Concert d'Astrée, Choeur et Orchestre supreme 2014 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Various Artists: Christmas

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'Tis the season. Just ask Jazz At The Ballroom. That Bay Area-based non-profit arts organization is making spirits bright with this collection of music showcasing top-flight artists who've appeared in its concerts. Everybody from the illustrious Freddy Cole to the supremely suave Nicki Parrott to the bright-eyed Champian Fulton gets in on the action. Good vibes abound and surround across these sixteen succinct tracks. Most of this material is comforting as can be, going down as easy ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chris McDonald: A Big (Band) Swinging Christmas!

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A Big (Band) Swinging Christmas! is at least the tenth holiday album recorded by the peerless arranger Chris McDonald's impressive Jazz Orchestra--but the first one whose title has been amplified by an exclamation mark. Could it be that this one is extra-special? That's hard to say, as the albums that preceded it have all been remarkably well-designed and pleasurable. And yet... there is that exclamation mark. Before proceeding, it should be noted that McDonald is a maven ...


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