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Diana Krall – Christmas Songs (2005)

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Diana Krall – Christmas Songs (2005)

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1. Jingle Bells play
2. Let It Snow play
3. The Christmas Song
4. Winter Wonderland
5. I'll Be Home for Christmas
6. Chistmas Time Is Here
7. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
8. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
9. White Christmas
10. What Are You Doing New Year's Eve
11. Sleigh Ride
12 Count Your Blessing Instead Of Sheep

Personnel:
Diana Krall (vocals, piano);
Jeff Clayton (flute, alto saxophone); Keith Fiddmont (clarinet, alto saxophone);
Rickey Woodard, Charles Owens II (clarinet, tenor saxophone);
Adam Schroeder (bass clarinet, baritone saxophone);
Clay Jenkins, Gilbert Castellanos, William Barnhart, Rick Baptist, Sal Cracchiolo (trumpet);
Joe Meyer , Rick Todd, Brad Warnaar (French horn); George Bohanon, Ira Nepus (trombone);
Tommy Johnson (tuba); Tamir Hendelman (piano, Fender Rhodes piano);
Alan Broadbent, Gerald Clayton (piano);
Randy Waldman (keyboards); Stefon Harris (vibraphone);
John Clayton, Robert Hurst , Ben Wolfe (double bass);
Joe Porcaro, Emil Richards (percussion); Anthony Wilson , Russell Malone (guitar);
Jeff Hamilton (drums).

Various Holiday-themed Diana Krall tracks have popped up over the years, but CHRISTMAS SONGS is her first full-length Christmas album. In recent years Diana has not rested on her laurels, musically-speaking. Some such as myself have thought highly of her later albums, while others missed her earlier forays into pop/jazz standards.

CHRISTMAS SONGS should appeal to those on both sides of the fence, and will likely reach out to many newcomers as well. The sense of effervescent, swinging fun that marked portions of her earlier albums is back on a number of tracks ("Santa Claus Is Coming To Town," "Jingle Bells," etc.). Meanwhile, those of us who feel she's emotively-deepened as a vocalist in the last few years will find ample evidence of that too, particularly on the ballads ("I'll Be Home For Christmas," "White Christmas," etc.). Diana's accompiament also tries something new (for her): there's a tasty, compatible big-band on many tracks (courtesy of the Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra). In addition, several ballads have string-dominated orchestrations (somewhat similar to those on THE LOOK OF LOVE).

Quite unusual for contemporary holiday albums is the lack of any attempts to write a new classic; there are no Krall-penned tunes here. Most of the songs are among the holiday season's most oft-heard classics, but Diana's voice brings a fresh touch to them. At times she effectively breaks out into scatting, and frequently tweaks the melodies to just the right extent as one would expect of a jazz singer. Of course, her piano moves into the foreground at times as well. Most if not all fans of Diana's late-1990s albums will be satisfied with this album from beginning to end, as will many who favor the recent discs. It's safe to say that CHRISTMAS SONGS will prove to stand the test of time and become a classic seasonal album.

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Zmieniony (Niedziela, 07 Wrzesień 2014 13:23)

 

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