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Bebop Spoken There

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Monday, November 25, 2013

CD review: Tianna Hall and Chris Cortez: Noel

Tianna Hall (vocals); Chris Cortez (guitar, additional vocals); Anthony Sapp (bass); Paul English (piano); Tom Cummings (vibes, drums); Dennis Dotson (trumpet);  Woody Witt (tenor sax, clarinet); Warren Sneed (alto sax, flute); Thomas Hulten (Trombones); Joel Fulgham, Memo Rezo (drums, various tracks)
(Review by Ann Alex)
Christmas has come to BSH, in the form of sweet-voiced Tianna Hall and the band, doing well known Christmas songs in a jazz style which pleasantly avoids the sentimental trap of some Christmas music, thank goodness.  
Nine Noel favourites, well played, some carols with intriguing hints of the riffs you sang in church as a child, if church music can be said to have riffs.  The Angels (Angels From The Realms Of Glory); A Child Is Born/Christmas Time Is Here; Santa Claus Is Coming To Town; The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire); We Three Kings; God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen; Oh Come, Oh Come Emmanuel; Santa Baby; and What Are You Doing New year’s Eve?
This would be a lovely CD to play at your Christmas party, but also authentic solid jazz for listening.
For instance, A Child Is Born is sung with reverence, the piano flows, the tenor sax solos well; Santa Claus Is Coming To Town with just jazz guitar accompaniment and a duet with fun scat; We Three Kings bring gifts of an effective guitar solo and a 4-note riff, repetitions of ‘travelling far’ and ‘orient are’; God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen is an instrumental with a tricky guitar solo; and Santa Baby is done sexily, with a ‘calling’ voice and winsome guitar, so how could Santa resist?  Plenty solos throughout for horns and brass, so what’s not to like?  It’s hard to believe that this was all recorded in Houston in the heat of August, well in time for Christmas shopping!
Released November 26 on the Blue Bamboo Music label.
Ann Alex 

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