Monday, October 15, 2012

Song of Simeon A Christmas Journey Will Scruggs 2012

A most interesting if not enlightening Christmas release. Will Scruggs is an "A" list saxophone player out of the Atlanta area and instead of the normal dozen or so Christmas classics with a couple of good guest artists and a quick pay day, Scruggs goes deeper...

Scruggs vision was one of a deeper meaning, sonic journey through the Christmas narrative using a layered chronology with more traditional music that actually tells the story of the birth of Christ. Will Scruggs sought out the help of some more "A" list players including bassist Tommy Sauter, multi-instrumentalist Brian Hogans and a wonderful guitarist by the name of Dan Baraszu. Marlon Patton holds the rhythm section together behind the drum kit as they do what may be called a riff on the concept of a Christmas song cycle...No "Deck The Halls" and no "Jingle Bells" here, a far more traditional if not reverent approach to songs including "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen" and "Joy To The World."

In this overly commercialized world, yet alone at Christmas this stellar ensemble which is essentially a small jazz orchestra (essentially twelve people could be playing at any one time) turns in an amazingly beautiful performance on this two disc set. This jazz collective takes on an ambitious project that lesser players would easily crash and burn on while turning in some very special music. Whether you celebrate Christmas or another holiday, there is a spiritual peace that emanates from this magnificent recording that give true meaning to the phrase, "the reason for the season." An epic work that is pulled off with joy and the obvious love that these wonderful musicians share with us. Highly recommended!

Tracks: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel; The Annunciation; Song of Mary; God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen; Song of Simeon; Go Down, Moses; Lo, How A Rose E'er Blooming; We Three Kings; T'Was In The Moon Of Wintertime; Ideo Gloria; Joy To The World.