403

Various Artists: The Reasons for Christmas Project

Celeste Sunderland By

Sign in to view read count
Various Artists: The Reasons for Christmas Project The Poconos... honeymooners flock there in spring to bathe in heart-shaped tubs, families arrive in summer for a swim through glistening lakes, hikers arrive in the fall to see the changing leaves, and in the winter... Well, there's the skiing, the skating, the cuddling by the fire... and there's the area's burgeoning music community, which convened this year to create a delightful Christmas album, The Reasons For Christmas.

The project provided an opportunity for up and coming Poconos area musicians to appear on the same disc as legendary figures like saxophonist Phil Woods, and pianist John Coates Jr., and best of all, proceeds raised from the sale of the album benefit a worthy cause: the Pocono Area Transitional Housing (PATH), a local organization that provides support to homeless families with children.

Holiday brawls around the CD player might diminish a bit with this disc. It features an array of styles. There's swinging ragtime on "Good King Wenceslas," performed by the Gap Time Ensemble; 17th Century sounds on "Pastoral," a Wolfgang Knittle arrangement based on "Joy To The World"; and light rock rhythms with violin highlights on Bobby Syvarth's "An Extra Prayer," which inspired the creation of the album.

Seven of the eleven songs are originals. Bob Dorough sings and plays piano on his tune "Wouldn't It Be Wonderful If Christmas Came," a smiley carol heralding peace on earth. It features an ebullient choir of local students in addition to an eleven-piece band. Spencer and Nancy Reed harmonize with each other, later scatting on Woods' harrowing, prophetic song "Gifts For The Children," backed by intimately sparse guitar and bass.

The classic Christmas tunes are real treats. With a nostalgic intro that leaps into a snappy verse, Phil Woods' arrangement of "White Christmas" is perfect for settling down and putting the finishing touches on the tree. And the David Liebman Group's take on "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" will surely leave the embers glowing in the fire well past Christmas dinner.


Track Listing: "Wouldn't It Be Wonderful If Christmas Came" - Bob Dorough; "White Christmas" - Phil Woods; "On Christmas Day" - Jesse Green & Jerry Harris; "Silent Night" - John Coates, Jr.; "A Little Prayer" - Bobby Syvarth; "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" - The David Liebman Group; "Let's Make Each Day Like Christmas" - Vicki & Eric Doney Band; "Gifts For The Children" - Nancy Reed & Spencer Reed; "Good King Wenceslas" - The Gaptime Ensemble; "Waiting For Christmas" - Gary Dillon; "Pastoral" - Calliope & The Water Gap Brass

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Independent Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Live at PafA CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Ocean of Storms CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Zentuary" CD/LP/Track Review Zentuary
by John Kelman
Published: December 25, 2016
Read "Life and Other Transient Storms" CD/LP/Track Review Life and Other Transient Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 26, 2016
Read "Goodbye Red Rose (2008/9)" CD/LP/Track Review Goodbye Red Rose (2008/9)
by John Eyles
Published: October 16, 2016
Read "Live At the Stone" CD/LP/Track Review Live At the Stone
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 29, 2016
Read "Live At The Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival" CD/LP/Track Review Live At The Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 3, 2017
Read "Sets The Standard" CD/LP/Track Review Sets The Standard
by David A. Orthmann
Published: March 14, 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!