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The holidays provide a chance for everyone to sit back, relax, and enjoy something different. It's not like the rest of the year, where we're pulled and pushed this way and that. Instead, the year-end holidays give us an opportunity to set things right, and we've earned it. As the song goes, "we're gonna find out who's naughty or nice. For most of us, that means we can enjoy a special treat that lasts from Christmas Eve to New Year's Day, and the rest of the year's workday routine can wait.
The Jazz Compass label was formed to provide authenticity in the jazz world around us. Their vision is to fill a void that, unfortunately, follows us around all year long: a void that ignores the art of music by aiming right for the obviousswing, groove, and backbeatbut omits the more precious elements of creativity, innovation, expert musicality, and sincere, heartfelt emotion.
The five artists heard here give us the very best. Their holiday wishes come with the familiar tradition and the pure musical presence that we expect. Furthermore, they open up with a delightful treat not usually found in Christmas programs. The quintet scores high marks for its musical treatment while delivering a lovely concert. Their program comes to us as a gift that will last for a lifetime and will, hopefully, inspire all of us to reach out without compromise in a constant search for authenticity in all that we create throughout the year.
Track Listing: Snowfall; Sleepers Wake; Iíll Be Home for Christmas; Little Drummer Boy/Big Drumming Man; What Child is This; Jolly Old St. Nicholas/Jingle Bells; O Come, O Come Emmanuel; O Christmas Tree; We Three Kings; Silent Night.
Personnel: Larry Koonse: guitar; Clay Jenkins: trumpet; Bill Cunliffe: piano; Tom Warrington: bass; Joe La Barbera: drums.
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.