3

Tim Warfield: Tim Warfield's Jazzy Christmas

Edward Blanco By

Sign in to view read count
Tim Warfield: Tim Warfield's Jazzy Christmas Veteran saxophonist Tim Warfield delivers one of the finest modern Christmas jazz albums around on Jazzy Christmas. Performing a selection of familiar songs with a heavy contemporary flavor, the music is so straight-ahead in nature that such seasonal tunes like "Let It Snow," "Joy To The World," and "Silent Night," are almost unrecognizable as Christmas music and could easily be part of any playlist throughout the year. The arrangements take advantage of Warfield's star-studded cast, including trumpeter Terell Stafford, pianist Cyrus Chestnut and vibraphonist Stefon Harris.

Assuring its uniqueness as a holiday album, Warfield's renditions of some of these Christmas classics are, as he states, "deliberately varied in length...allowing them to develop"—all with a measure of sophisticated improvisation sufficient enough to disguise some of the familiar melodies under a veil of terrific harmonies. The result is a lively, hard-driving showcase of sensational solos presented with boppish flair, begging for repeated spins. The traditional "Santa Clause Is Coming to Town" begins the session in a most untraditional fashion, with Warfields's earthy tenor leading a barrage of terrific solos, as Stafford and Harris join in on the fun.

Vocalist Joanna Pascale appears on three tracks, introducing the Sammy Cahn favorite "Let It Snow" before yielding to Harris, who infuses his interpretation with a slight touch of Latin rhythms on this nine-minute burner. Percussionist Daniel Sadownick provides the sounds of the sleigh bells, while pianist Neil Podgurski runs the keys on the leader's soprano version of "Joy To The World." Drummer Clarence Penn's crashing cymbal accents seem all that appropriate on "Little Drummer Boy," another piece in which Warfield provides more torrid time on the soprano.

One of the album's standouts is a traditional rendition of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen," where Warfield is at his sensational best, wielding his tenor aggressively and assertively. Other bright moments include a special rendition of "Oh Christmas Tree," featuring the great baritone vocalist Jamie Davis, as well as a new arrangement of "Silent Night" and Claude Thornhill's "Snowfall."

Though a Christmas project at its core, the album also includes a bonus track in celebration of Hanukkah ("The Dreidal Song). With Jazzy Christmas , Warfield takes a selection of well-known traditional Christmas songs and morphs them into a session of hard-improvised jazz, distinguishing it from other jazz holiday albums.

Track Listing: Santa Clause is Coming to Town; Let it Snow; Joy to the World; Little Drummer Boy; Caroling Caroling; Oh Christmas Tree; Silent Night; God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen; Snowfall; The Dreidel Song.

Personnel: Tim Warfield: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone; Terell Stafford: trumpet; Stefon Harris: vibes; Cyrus Chestnut: piano; Rodney Whitaker: bass; Clarence Penn: drums; Daniel Sadownick: percussion; Neil Podgurski: piano (1, 3, 8, 10); Joanna Pascale: vocals (2, 5, 7); Jamie Davis: vocals (6).

Title: Tim Warfield's Jazzy Christmas | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read 90 Going On Amazing CD/LP/Track Review 90 Going On Amazing
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 21, 2017
Read Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter CD/LP/Track Review Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: August 21, 2017
Read L.O.T.U.S. CD/LP/Track Review L.O.T.U.S.
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 21, 2017
Read Art in the Age of Automation CD/LP/Track Review Art in the Age of Automation
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 21, 2017
Read Screen Sounds CD/LP/Track Review Screen Sounds
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Rediscovered Ellington CD/LP/Track Review Rediscovered Ellington
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 20, 2017
Read "Green Moss Black Sand" CD/LP/Track Review Green Moss Black Sand
by Chris Mosey
Published: July 30, 2017
Read "My Head is Listening" CD/LP/Track Review My Head is Listening
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 2, 2017
Read "Convallaria" CD/LP/Track Review Convallaria
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 22, 2016
Read "The Voice of Robert Desnos" CD/LP/Track Review The Voice of Robert Desnos
by Geannine Reid
Published: April 22, 2017
Read "Illegal Crowns" CD/LP/Track Review Illegal Crowns
by John Sharpe
Published: December 10, 2016
Read "Happy All the Time" CD/LP/Track Review Happy All the Time
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 12, 2016

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.