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).

Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Self Produced | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Northern Adventures CD/LP/Track Review Northern Adventures
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Collider CD/LP/Track Review Collider
by John Sharpe
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Eos CD/LP/Track Review Eos
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 28, 2017
Read More Than This CD/LP/Track Review More Than This
by Henning Bolte
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read "Waltz About Nothing" CD/LP/Track Review Waltz About Nothing
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 3, 2016
Read "Il Dodicesimo Nano" CD/LP/Track Review Il Dodicesimo Nano
by Jim Olin
Published: January 10, 2017
Read "More Figs And Blue Things" CD/LP/Track Review More Figs And Blue Things
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 3, 2016
Read "Time Is Coming" CD/LP/Track Review Time Is Coming
by Mark Sullivan
Published: June 13, 2016
Read "In For The Out" CD/LP/Track Review In For The Out
by Dave Wayne
Published: March 12, 2016
Read "Reflections" CD/LP/Track Review Reflections
by Andrew Luhn
Published: March 23, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

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!