In keeping with my formula for a good Christmas release the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra is spot on. Twelve traditional Christmas favorites that are "jazzed" up with a smoking hot orchestra that swings Christmas "old school" as they say. Original arrangements, two choirs along with a stellar guest vocalist and star soloists Gregory Tardy, Tim Green and Dan Trudell make a modern big band holiday release that should be in your Christmas hot rotation for some time to come.
To give you an idea of the more straight ahead arrangement here, Vance Thompson who is the founder and director includes homage to McCoy Tyner's trio arrangement of "Old Devil Moon" as well as the iconic John Coltrane and "A Love Supreme." The samba version of "Jingle Bells" is an infectious tune and just a hint of the fun one can have with Christmas Time is Here. "Silent Night" as a blues infused shuffle? A lesser orchestra could not come close to pulling that off but the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra makes it work along with a roof raising "Go Tell It On The Mountain." Vocalist Jill Andrews does an incredibly charming version of "O Little Town of Bethlehem." Fun, flavorful and festive so when you are making your Christmas music list out then check it twice because you will want this to be right at the top!
As a reminder, while having close ties to the University of Tennessee's jazz faculty the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra is its own entity that being a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization. Once again a worthy endeavor to support for those looking to help!
For more information check out : http://www.knoxjazz.org