Canadian Brass Salute TV Holiday Specials in 'Christmas Time is Here'

Sunday, December 08, 2013

In a season stuffed with annoying Christmas songs and treacly carol arrangements, Vince Guaraldi’s jazzy soundtrack to “A Charlie Brown Christmas" has been a saving grace for many listeners. Such is its staying power that last year the 1965 album was chosen for preservation in the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry. The soundtrack has been periodically covered by other artists too. The latest get in on the action is the Canadian Brass.

The Canadian Brass is no stranger to the holiday compilation: One of its first releases was the 1981 “Christmas with the Canadian Brass.” That was followed by “A Canadian Brass Christmas” (1985), “The Christmas Album” (1990) and “Sweet Songs of Christmas” (2007). Each struck a seasonal chord that was joyous, virtuosic, and yes, occasionally gimmicky.

In “Christmastime is Here” the quintet romps through Guaraldi arrangements like “Christmas is Coming,” “Skating” and the title track, as well as traditional Christmas songs. It also pays homage to other 60’s TV specials with “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Frosty the Snowman” and Dr. Seuss’s “You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.” The arrangements don't depart too far from the originals but they do show the quintet in fine form throughout.

The brass will perform in The Greene Space on Friday, Dec. 13. The event is sold out but it will be webcast live on WQXR.org.

Canadian Brass
Christmastime is Here
Steinway and Sons label
Available at Arkivmusic.com

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Comments [1]

Peter J Blume from Westchester, NY

Am looking forward to this new album! Although there probably will never be anything that can top Vince Guaraldi's original, there have already been some other very good covers & arrangements of this material: David Benoit & various other Contemporary Jazz artists under Dave Grusin's GRP label, The Wynton Marsalis septet, etc...& this is probably a good new approach & different direction for the NEW Canadian Brass as well--who's original members had already put out multiple other previous Christmas Albums. Last night, WQXR featured this newly rejuvenated ensemble live in The Greene Space; their version of 'Christmas Time is Here' was absolutely stunning. I look forward to hearing more of it...& of them, as the group strives to continue onward in the fine tradition of the Canadian Brass!

Merry Christmas / Happy Holidays to all,
-peterjblume.com

Dec. 14 2013 09:52 PM

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