As a saxophone player I have a built in bias and a bad review on a Christmas record is a sure ticket to hell but I know what works...Warfield turns old school new cool with a nine song set including a bonus cut "The Dreidel Song" in honor of Hanukkah.
A great many critics cringe at Christmas releases as they are tired, boring, and predictable. Warfield puts together an all star band and then they bang out some classics with a hip attitude that warms the heart of even this cynical critic. The set list includes:
1. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
2. Let It Snow
3. Joy To The World
4. Little Drummer Boy
5. Caroling Caroling
6. Oh Christmas Tree
7. Silent Night
8. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Personnel: Tim Warfield: tenor & soprano saxophone; Terell Stafford: trumpet; Stefon Harris: vibraphone; Cyrus Chesnut: piano; Rodney Whitaker: bass; Clarence Penn: drums; Daniel Sadownick: percussion; Neil Podgurski: piano (1,3,8,10); Joana Pascale: vocals (2,5,7); Jamie Davis: vocals 6.
While I practise and observe the Federal Holiday of Christmas, Warfield's tasteful inclusion of the Hanukkah song is a pleasant reminder of the melting pot that is this country. On that note allow www.criticaljazz.com to wish you health, happiness and harmony in the coming year.
I've been working on numerous year end best of lists and put this one down for Christmas!