Max Jazz Holiday

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - William Pearl
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 ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - William Pearl
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.
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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/21/2001
  • Label: Max Jazz Records
  • UPC: 610614030128
  • Catalog Number: 140301
  • Sales rank: 286,984

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 II Composer
Alfred S. Burt Composer
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