Max Jazz Holiday

Max Jazz Holiday

     
 

Max Jazz Records has made quite a reputation for itself presenting a slew of both exciting new and durable veteran jazz vocalists, many whom appear on this exceptional collection. Bright voices include Carla Cook, Philip Manuel, René Marie, Christine Hitt, Laverne Butler, and Mary Stallings; their accompanists are among the finest on the scene as well,… See more details below

Overview

Max Jazz Records has made quite a reputation for itself presenting a slew of both exciting new and durable veteran jazz vocalists, many whom appear on this exceptional collection. Bright voices include Carla Cook, Philip Manuel, René Marie, Christine Hitt, Laverne Butler, and Mary Stallings; their accompanists are among the finest on the scene as well, including pianists Bruce Barth and Cyrus Chestnut, bassists James Genus and Ugonna Okegwo, and drummers Billy Kilson and Adonis Rose. (Instrumental tracks featuring Barth’s trio add variety to the project.) By assigning familiar tunes to these singers and players, the disc allows us to focus even more closely on their distinctiveness and individual stylings. ( “Peace on Earth,” by Phillip Manuel and his pianist Michael Pellera is the sole original tune). Killing two birds with one stone, this superior collection is both a thoroughly entertaining holiday recording and a fine introduction to a brilliant group of vocalists, each deserving of more recognition.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Ken Dryden
Max Jazz Holiday is a collection of Christmas songs primarily featuring the vocalists from the label's roster. Rene Marie's sensual take of "Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow" and warmly swinging "Winter Wonderland" immediately stand out (supported by the terrific accompaniment of pianist Mulgrew Miller's trio), as do the bright performances by LaVerne Butler of an upbeat "Sleigh Ride" and a lovely version of "The Christmas Song." Veteran singer Mary Stallings still has lots to offer with her relaxed "I'll Be Home for Christmas" and a sassy "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." Philip Manuel, the only male voice on the CD, is slightly reminiscent of Johnny Mathis on his two tracks. Christine Hitt opts for less familiar fare with "We'll Dress This House" and accompanying herself on piano on the tedious "Some Children See Him"; far more interesting is the jaunty take of the old reliable "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town." Carla Cook's lush treatment of "Silent Night" showcases her voice in a better light than the badly overproduced opening track ("Do You Hear What I Hear?") which is plagued not only by a dull funk arrangement, but excessive overdubs of additional vocals by the singer. Pianist Bruce Barth, who anchors the rhythm section backing Stallings, Butler, and Hitt, also has two instrumental tracks for his superb trio, including a playful boppish "O Christmas Tree" and an easygoing "Greensleeves." This is a very enjoyable Christmas CD that should stand the test of time rather well.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/21/2001
Label:
Max Jazz Records
UPC:
0610614030128
catalogNumber:
140301

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Mary Stallings   Vocals
LaVerne Butler   Track Performer
Bruce Barth   Piano
Cyrus Chestnut   Organ,Piano
James Genus   Electric Bass
Billy Kilson   Drums
Phillip Manuel   Vocals
Mulgrew Miller   Piano
Gerald Cleaver   Drums
Adonis Rose   Drums
Carla Cook   Vocals
Christine Hitt   Piano,Vocals
Ugonna Okegwo   Bass
René Marie   Vocals

Technical Credits

Mel Tormé   Composer
Mary Stallings   Liner Notes
Buck Ram   Composer
Bruce Barth   Producer
Felix Bernard   Composer
J. Fred Coots   Composer
Kim Gannon   Composer
Haven Gillespie   Composer
Walter Kent   Composer
Phillip Manuel   Producer,Liner Notes
Katsuhiko Naito   Engineer,Mastering
Michael Pellera   Producer
Robert Wells   Composer
Chris Miller   Engineer
Dick Smith   Composer
Carla Cook   Liner Notes
Christine Hitt   Liner Notes
René Marie   Liner Notes
Traditional   Composer
John W. Work   Composer
Alfred S. Burt   Composer

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