Sunday, December 1, 2013

New Music Monday for December 2, 2013

     New York Voices, the internationally acclaimed vocal ensemble renowned for their seamless vocalizing and intricate jazz-influenced arrangements, unveil their long-awaited Christmas CD, “Let It Snow.” The disc also tops off a special year, one that commemorates the quartet’s 25th anniversary. The release finds Kim Nazarian, Lauren Kinhan, Darmon Meader and Peter Eldridge celebrating a host of traditional and sacred holiday classics as well as secular favorites. Settings vary, from a cappella performances to robust arrangements featuring big band and studio orchestra accompaniment.

     Nnenna Freelon’s mother was a lover of Christmas—the story, the anticipation, the excitement, but most of all, the gathering of her family around her. In her passing, she left her daughter with a gift that has resulted in a dream fulfilled and a holiday album that will extend a mother’s love of Christmas to listeners everywhere. The venerated jazz vocalist and six-time Grammy nominee had long wanted to do a holiday album, but couldn’t garner enough interest from her label. So she did what most people do in need of a little help, she turned to a loved one. With a small inheritance received from her mother, she approached John Brown, a long-time member of her musical family, director of Duke University’s jazz program and leader of John Brown’s Big Band. The two, who have shared the stage and collaborated often during their twenty-year friendship, have now joined together to release a selection of holiday songs on “Christmas.”

     Other holiday offerings debuting this week include “Seasons Greetings from Dan Padley,” a project the local guitarist has been working on for the past few years and who finally found the right players to bring his ideas to fruition; singer Karrin Allyson offers up her first Christmas collection, “Yuletide Hideaway”; and pianist Ted Rosenthal and his trio are in a Winter “Wonderland.”

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