This year's new CD sounds of the season are plentiful. Here is a listing of those new releases we thought would be of interest to you. Steve Allee Big Band will perform Friday at the Jazz Kitchen.
Keeping true to their musical muse, the Yellowjackets give fresh reworkings to the music of the season with a happy Second Line rhythmic slant to "Little Drummer Boy," where Jimmy Haslip's bass and Russell Ferrante's piano strut. CD title cut "Peace Round" is an old English canon given a plaintive but probing rendering.
A Jazz Guitar Christmas
Moon Cycle Records
Former Indianapolis native Royce Campbell comes out with a strong straight-ahead jazz trio outing, supported by Tom Baldwin's bass and Howard Curtis on drums. The only format departure is a splendid original by Campbell we feel should become a seasonal classic, titled "Live Every Day Like Christmas." A full string section arranged by Carrol DeCamp and Everett Greene's moving vocals top this well-done piece of Christmas cheer.
My Favorite Time of the Year
Warwick's first holiday outing offers soul with Gladys Knight on "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and gospel with Bebe Winans' original "I Believe in Christmas." The smooth jazz element is added with Dave Koz on "White Christmas" and a spirited groove on "Joy To The World."
Spirit of the Season
The spicy sound of the koto adds an Eastern flavor to this gifted group. Complete with a horn section, Hiroshima is a fusion of Eastern and Western harmonies that make for captivating listening on traditional Christmas themes. They offer an Eastern groove with Danny Yamamoto on Taiko drums on "Little Drummer Boy." Keyboardist and saxophonist Dan Kuramoto penned three catchy originals. Hiroshima offers a well-balanced mix of instrumental smooth jazz and vocals.
All I Hope For Christmas
There is something buoyant in Rangell's flute and piccolo playing that takes one along with him. Rangell gives a 2004 version of his piccolo classic, "Let It Snow." "On a Silent Night" is far from its title with Rangell's bubbling flute and piccolo soaring over a heated Latin rhythm. This is a fun Yuletime party jam.
Christmas Jazz Guitar
Mel Bay Records
Jazz guitarist Wilkin, in solo multitracked offerings, serves up warm sounds of traditional holiday tunes played with polish and rich chord and solo technique. Includes a rare performance of the tune "Barbara Allen" from the British film A Christmas Carol. Great for enjoying the glow of the fireplace.
Christmas Love and You
Smooth jazz and R&B vocalist Downing debuts his holiday package with numerous smooth jazz artists. Joe Sample is featured on "Love on Christmas Morning," one of three Downing Christmas originals. Jonathan Butler's guitar shares spotlight on the title tune "Christmas Love and You." David Sanborn's sax lights up "The Christmas Song," Najee's flute glides through on "Christmas Time is Here" and Gerald Albright's alto sax sizzles on an upbeat "The First Noel." Tenor saxophonist Kirk Whalum is featured on a laid-back "White Christmas." Downing's mellow vibrato voice eases one into a holiday mood.
It's serious Yuletime burning from tenor saxophonist Anton Schwartz in this abbreviated CD release that totals 28 minutes. Schwartz's quartet opens up "Jingle Bells" with no nonsense exploration and swing. They throw a little humor into a reggae version of "Winter Wonderland." In an odd choice for the CD's theme, Schwartz does an elongated, sensitive version of the ballad "In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning." Maybe he's referring to the red-suited dude who makes his rounds the night before. This is jazz for those who like it straight - like plum pudding without the sauce.
The Chatterbox will hold its annual celebration honoring the French Thanksgiving of Beaujolais Nouveau Thursday, Nov. 18. Wine tasting along with steak, chicken and veggie kabobs from the grill will be featured. Topping off the celebration will be the French-style string jazz of The Bleu Django Group. The celebration goes 6 to 9 p.m. Open to the public.
Chatterbox, 435 Massachusetts Ave. Friday, Monsalve-Perez Quartet, Latin-accented straight-ahead jazz. Saturday, Kyle Quass Quintet, cutting-edge jazz. Music 10:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. $4 cover charge.
Bourbon Street Distillery, 361 Indiana Ave. Friday, The JRW Trio plays 8 p.m. to midnight.
Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, 45 S. Illinois St. "Sizzling Steaks & Jazz Sunday," The Brian Myers Trio, 7 to 10 p.m.
Jazz Kitchen, 54th Street and College Avenue. Friday, Steve Allee Big Band. Saturday, Midcoast Swing Orchestra and the Swing Dance Finals. Sets at 8:30 and 10:30 p.m.
Sullivan's Steakhouse, 3316 E. 86th St., Keystone at the Crossing. Friday, Steve Corn, piano, Joe Deal, bass. Saturday, Claude Sifferlen, piano, 5 to 11 p.m. Sunday, Bill Kennaugh, piano, Joel Kelsey, bass, 5 to 9 p.m.
D'Vine a Wine Bar, 86th and Keystone Avenue, Woodfield Shopping Center. Thursday, Jeff DeHerdt, keyboards and vocals, 8 p.m. to midnight. Friday, Craig Peterson and Jeff Kunkle. Saturday, Dave Ellman, keyboards and vocals, 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Smokehouse Cafe, County Line Road and Meridian Street. "Sunday Jazz Brunch," The Impulse Trio, 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, Tommy Will's Twosome, jazz for dining and dancing, 7 to 10 p.m.
Chuck Workman is the producer/host of the Sunday Morning Jazz Show at 107.9 WTPI.