Fireside vocalist Tianna Hall joins guitarist and music producer Chris Cortez on her Christmas album Noel from Blue Bamboo Music label. Trussed in vines of cabaret swing, scat, and smooth bluesy jazz, Noel is a delightful trip through a medley of sacred and secular novelty tunes all familiar to the listener and designed to enhance the joyful tidings of Christmastime.
Hall’s sleek vocal nuances on “The Christmas Song” plant smooth glides along the chorus parts as her scat laden delivery of “Santa Claus is coming to Town” puts a modern twist on a traditional childhood favorite. The band jazzes up “We Three Kings” with an exhilarating arrangement crowned in springy vibraphones and pulsing horns as Cortez’s guitar underscores the bridge with an energetic riff giving up the center-stage to the mirthful spirit emanating from Paul English’s piano keys. The solemn drifts etched by Cortez’s guitar in “God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman” emblaze a storytelling voicing clad in meditative atmospherics.
The Latin-tinged wings of the rhythm section in “The Angels” give the track a festive feel turning the velocity down to a gentle simmer in “A Child is Born” as Hall’s vocals are softly wrapped in Cortez’s whispery guitar chords leading into “Christmas Time is Here” swathe in a reclining ambience. “Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel” is drenched in bluesy tempered horns gilded in the soft glaze of English’s keys as Hall’s smooth vocal swagger adds a caressing touch to the track. The flirtatious stride of her vocals in “Santa Baby” has a sultry feline purr that is all womanly then breaks into the soft luminous glow of “What are You Doing New Year’s Eve” as Hall’s vocals whisk the listener up into a dreamy state of mind encircled in the glistening chimes of the tingling vibraphones performed by Tom Cummings.
Paired with music arranger Mark Piszczek on six tracks and collaborating with Chris Cortez on the other three tunes, Tianna Hall’s Christmas recording Noel is a reflection of the joyful tidings and enduring traditions of the Christmas season. A representation of Hall’s talent as a moving vocalist, Noel resounds with positive energy surging holiday cheer in every fiber.
Vocals – Tianna Hall, guitar and additional vocals – Chris Cortez, bass – Anthony Sapp, piano – Paul English, vibraphones and drums – Tom Cummings, trumpet – Dennis Dotson, tenor saxophone and clarinet – Woody Witt, alto saxophone and flute – Warren Sneed, trombone and bass trombone – Thomas Hultén; Special Guests: Joel Fulgham – drums on “We Three Kings” and Memo Reza – drums on “The Angels”
The Angels, A Child is Born/Christmas Time Is Here, Santa Claus Is Coming to Town, The Christmas Song, We Three Kings, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel, Santa Baby, What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve