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Straight No Chaser - A Jazz Show

Straight No Chaser is the place for jazz lovers (and those who will soon be jazz lovers) to enjoy podcasts with their favorite music and artists. Winner of the 2017 JazzTimes Readers' Poll for Best Podcast, your host Jeffrey Siegel will take you inside the world of jazz, from the new releases to the best festiva;s to remembrances of jazz legends.

Dec 8, 2012

They start drifting in to our offices in September like so many errant snowflakes – holiday releases from jazz artists that will hit the stores as the temperatures dip. Every year I try to feature a few CDs, and do a Podcast for others worthy of notice that I might not get to zero in on. So Podcast 321 is composed of tracks from CD well worth tracking down for you holiday parties or stocking stuffers.

Hilary Kole – “Let It Snow” from Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. The Canadian label Justin Time has gathered a number of their artists for this compilation of Christmas tunes. I like Ms. Kole’s version of this winter classic, but I just as easily could have selected tracks by Ranee Lee, Hank Jones, Oliver Jones or Johanne Blouin. And there are a few from some piano player named Diana Krall as well.

Donna Singer with the Doug Richards Trio – “It Must Have Been the Mistletoe” from Kiss Me Beneath the Mistletoe. The fun selection of songs known and unknown make this CD worth repeated listenings. The Richards Trio is Doug Richards (bass), Billy Alfred (piano) and Mike Cervone (drums).

Will Scruggs Fellowship – “We Three Kings” from Song of Simeon: A Christmas Journey. Podcast 320 featured an interview with this talented sax player, but I couldn’t resist throwing in one of the strongest tracks from his song-cycle.

Halle Loren & Matt Treder – “Grown Up Christmas List” from Many Times, Many Ways: A Holiday Collection. Justin Time re-released this CD from the underrated singer, performing in intimate sessions with just a piano for accompaniment. Check out two Treder originals if you are getting tired of the old warhorses.

Jane Monheit and Sara Gazarek – “Come Spend Christmas With Me”. composed by Larry Goldings (music) and Cliff Goldmacher (lyrics), this duet will raised money for the ASPCA. Listen to it here, and then go buy it as a single tune download. Now.

FlavaEvolution – “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” from FlavaEvolution Chills And while you are in the buying mood, be sure to email to order your copy of this Indy release from a fabulous three horn and  a bass quartet. Their holiday CD is bursting with novel takes on standard tunes, as bassist David Picchi and multi-reed man Frank Newton rearrange the familiar to create delights like a New Orleans driven “Here Comes Santa Claus”, or a waltz-time “Frosty the Snowman.” And dig that Jake Wiener sax solo on the band’s version of the kitsch classic that sounds like it would be appropriate in a late-night “Quiet Storm” set on urban radio between Maxwell and Marvin Gaye,