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Thats The Spirit by Cynthia Kaay Bennett

Gosh! Is it that time of the year already? Nashville singer, Cynthia Kaay Bennett unveiled her new Christmas CD on October 1st. Having reviewed Cynthia's debut album Wish I Knew a couple of years ago, I'm not surprised that this release is nothing less than great.

Ms. Bennett's approach to this eclectic mix can be best described as warm and classy. Her personal arrangement of the venerable Silent Night is stunning. I played it three times! Cynthia's warm attack is equally sympathetic on Gordon Lightfoot's beautiful Song For a Winter's Night.

Jazz fans will ask "So where's the Jazz?". I'll tell you there's plenty on this CD. Bennett is able to scat in fine fashion and she swings out in style on I Pray On Christmas, That Spirit Of Christmas and others. The yuletide classics have not been forgotten. Mel Torme's Christmas Song, What Are You Doing New Years Eve and Johnny Moore's Merry Christmas Baby receive a fresh but reverent treatment by the Nashville chanteuse.

Cynthia Kaay Bennett retains the top-notch musicians who appeared on her debut release in 2001. Guitarist Andy Reiss and bassist Charlie Chadwick interact perfectly with Bennett's jazzy attitude. Pianist, Catherine Styron Marx is a particular favorite of mine. She is a Nashville studio player who has recorded with Ronnie Milsap, Sharon Moore and many others. Catherine swings incessantly on this shakin' Christmas album.

You've heard it all when Cynthia closes with the most touching version of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. The lady delivers some very pretty notes. That's The Spirit will get a lot of play around our house this year.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Cynthia Kaay Bennett
  • CD Title: Thats The Spirit
  • Genre: Holiday Jazz
  • Year Released: 2003
  • Record Label: Cara Mia Music
  • Tracks: Mary, Did You Know; What Are You Doing New Years Eve; A Party For Santa Claus; Breath Of Heaven; I Pray On Christmas; Song For A Winters Night; That Spirit Of Christmas; Silent Night; I Bought You a Plastic Star For Your Aluminum Tree; Our First Christmas; Merry Christmas Baby; The Christmas Song; Shake Hands With Santa Claus; Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.'
  • Musicians: Cynthia Kaay Bennett (vocals); Catherine Styron Marx (piano, keyboards); Andy Reiss (guitar); Charlie Chadwick (bass); Bob Mater (drums).
  • Rating: Five Stars
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