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Spyro Gyra: A Night Before Christmas

Taking a break for the holidays from pushing jazz's boundaries, the veteran contemporary-jazz quintet Spyro Gyra gets back to the music's roots with (mostly) traditional and acoustic takes on Christmas classics and originals. A Night Before Christmas begins with a six-minute rendition of "O Tannenbaum," on which sax man Jay Beckenstein and guitarist Julio Fernandez find plenty of room for improvising, while other songs ("Winter Wonderland," "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas") are performed in a much more straightforward manner but still retain that Spyro Gyra flair. Meanwhile, a pair of female guest vocalists (Tony Award winner Christine Ebersole and Manhattan Transfer founder Janis Siegel) enlighten new originals including "It Won't Feel Like Christmas" (about spending the holidays apart from loved ones) and "Baby It's Cold Outside" (a playful duet with Spyro Gyra drummer Bonny B).

The overall effect will no doubt leave you feeling warm all over and a bit nostalgic rather than pining for Dec. 26, when all that Christmas music will simply go away...

Track Listing:
1) O Tannenbaum
2) It Won't Feel Like Christmas
3) Winter Wonderland
4) Christmas Time Is Here
5) Baby It's Cold Outside
6) Carol of the Bells
7) Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
8) The First Noel
9) Silent Night
10) This Christmas
11) The Christmas Song

Added: December 15th 2008
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Official Spyro Gyra Web Site
Hits: 1949
Language: english

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