186

Take 6: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Woodrow Wilkins By

Sign in to view read count
Take 6: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year A recording act that's been around a while eventually presents a holiday album. Take 6, the a cappella jazz group whose roots lie on the campus of Oakwood College in Huntsville, Ala., brings The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.

Claude V. McKnight III formed a group known as Gentlemen's Estate Quartet, which was later joined by Mark Kibble. After a few lineup and name changes, the group became Take 6 in 1987. The group has earned several Grammy awards and has collaborated with a number of other artists, including the Yellowjackets, Stevie Wonder and Don Henley.

"It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" has a delightful, swinging groove. Using a combination of finger snaps and wordless vocals, the group sounds like a band more than an a cappella ensemble. The vocal harmony is superb.

McKnight and Chea run point on "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch," injecting a conversational dialogue to introduce the piece. Chea's bass lead does honor to the original recording by Thurl Ravenscroft, while Chea rolls his R's with emphasis. The background vocals responds to the lead, adding a humorous element, particularly on the "stink, stank, stunk" phrase.

The finger-snapping "The Sugarplum Dance" is a clever take on the Tchaikovsky classic, the wordless chant retaining the song's mystique. Although the voices engage mostly in doo-wop style, there are phrases where one member takes on the role of a muted trumpet.

Take 6 keeps the melodies simple, so that these Christmas favorites are easily recognizable and revered. But the group also puts its personal stamp on each song. For those wanting something other than typical Christmas album fare, "Mr. Grinch" and "I Saw Three Ships" help set this collection apart from others.

Track Listing: It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year; White Christmas; Grinch Introduction / The Grinch / You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch; Sleigh Ride; I'll Be Home for Christmas; It Came Upon a Midnight Clear; The Sugarplum Dance (Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy); I Saw Three Ships; Jingle Bells; Christmas Time Is Here.

Personnel: Claude V. McKnight III: vocals; Mark Kibble: vocals; Joel Kibble: vocals; David Thomas: vocals; Cedric Dent: vocals; Alvin Chea: vocals; Shelea Frazier: piano (10), vocal (10).

Title: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Heads Up International


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Day After Day CD/LP/Track Review Day After Day
by John Eyles
Published: July 21, 2017
Read We Know Not What We Do CD/LP/Track Review We Know Not What We Do
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 21, 2017
Read Slade Alive! CD/LP/Track Review Slade Alive!
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 21, 2017
Read Hope CD/LP/Track Review Hope
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 21, 2017
Read The Better Angels of Our Nature CD/LP/Track Review The Better Angels of Our Nature
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 20, 2017
Read What Brought You Here? CD/LP/Track Review What Brought You Here?
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 20, 2017
Read "Duke Ellington's Treasury Shows - Vol. 21" CD/LP/Track Review Duke Ellington's Treasury Shows - Vol. 21
by Chris Mosey
Published: August 11, 2016
Read "Pocono Git-Down" CD/LP/Track Review Pocono Git-Down
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 1, 2017
Read "JK's Kamer +50.92509° +03.84800°" CD/LP/Track Review JK's Kamer +50.92509° +03.84800°
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 28, 2017
Read "Chase The Light (Excursions in Soul, Reggae, Funk, and Dub)" CD/LP/Track Review Chase The Light (Excursions in Soul, Reggae, Funk, and Dub)
by Joe Gatto
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "Guitarist, Alone" CD/LP/Track Review Guitarist, Alone
by John Eyles
Published: August 5, 2016
Read "Allied Forces" CD/LP/Track Review Allied Forces
by David A. Orthmann
Published: November 13, 2016

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!