Various Artists // It’s Christmas on Mack Avenue

Categories:  Opinion    Music Reviews    Music
Wednesday, December 10th, 2014 at 4:00 AM
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Various Artists // It’s Christmas on Mack Avenue  by

Various Artists

It’s Christmas on Mack Avenue 

Mack Avenue

Mack Avenue is one of the newer jazz labels, but it is already highly regarded because of its strong artist roster, many of whom are on display on one of the few jazz Christmas CDs released this year. Strutting their stuff on a mostly familiar repertoire of sacred and secular songs are trumpeter Sean Jones, pianist Aaron Diehl, saxophonist Tia Fuller, vibraphonist Warren Wolf, bassist Christian McBride, vocalists Cyrille Aimee, Cecile McLorin Salvant, and Sachal Vasandani, and the band, Hot Club of Detroit. Diehl steals the show on several occasions – on a lovely version of “Christmas Time Is Here” from TV’s classic A Charlie Brown Christmas; a joyously swinging “Sleigh Ride;” and a sensitive reading of the too seldom heard “Christmas Star,” composed by famed movie scorer John Williams. Wolfe is wonderful, with bass accompaniment, on the breathtaking “Carol of the Bells,” and among the singers, much honored Salvant and the lovely voiced, scat-singing, up-and-coming Aimee Sparkle, while Vasandani’s voice and delivery disappoint. 

3/5

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