What’s next for Pat Metheny once he completes his sprawling Speaking of Now tour? He tells the Kansas City Star that he’s been turning down everything for the last year and a half so that he can focus on the Pat Metheny Group. “We expect to be doing another group record pretty much right away, with the same lineup, now that we’ve found our collective voice.”. . .Speaking of collective, the Groove Collective’s latest CD is in high rotation on XM72 – Beyond Jazz. You didn’t know Groove Collective had a new CD out? Neither did I. Live…and Hard To Find is available through purchase at the band’s web site. It’s a live CD with two new studio tunes. . .And since I mentioned XM once again, I’ll promote the fact the there are two features next week of interest to modern jazz fans – Galactic live next Friday and Russ Davis interviews Dave Samuels and Dave Valentin of the Caribbean Jazz Project next Saturday.
Warner Bros. gathered its jazz and contemporary jazz rosters to put together the label’s first holiday collection. But, unlike other label holiday albums, Jazz Christmas Party, doesn’t just feature submitted tracks from its artists. WB artists collaborated together on several songs on this album. Bob James and Béla Fleck duet on “White Christmas. Michael Franks and Kirk Whalum work together on Franks’ “I Bought You A Plastic Star For Your Aluminum Tree.” The constant on the release is the keys of the label’s big three pianists – Bob James, Brad Mehldau, and Larry Goldings. The songs aren’t exactly Christmas standards. Al Jarreau, Boney James, Bob James, and Larry Goldings perform on Kenny Loggins and Bob James’s “Celebrate Me Home.” Whalum lays down his gospel sound on “A Cradle of Bethlehem.” New WB vocalist Gabriela Anders delivers a great debut on her original “Our First Christmas.” The musicianship on the album is top-notch, from the headliners to the rhythm provided by James Genus, Larry Grenadier, Jorge Rossy, and Billy Kilson.
Warner Bros. Jazz Christmas Party is a seasonal album that all jazz fans will enjoy.
t r a c k s
(note that several musicians play on several other tracks)
“Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” – Joshua Redman; “Celebrate Me Home” – Al Jarreau; “A Cradle In Bethlehem” – Kirk Whalum; “I Bought You A Plastic Star For Your Aluminum Tree” – Michael Franks; “Our First Christmas” – Gabriela Anders; “Silent Night” – Larry Goldings and Brad Mehldau; “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” – Boney James; “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” – Kevin Mahogany; “Pure Imagination” – Mark Turner; “Christmas Time Is Here” – Brad Mehldau Trio; “Personent Hodie (Sing Aloud This Day)” – Bob James Trio; “White Christmas” – Béla Fleck and Bob James