This is the third album I have covered by Shannon Janssen and I am continually impressed and enlightened by her tremendous talent on the piano.
The Keys Of Christmas came at a great time for me the past few days. The stress of certain situations was bearing down on me, and I put this wonderful CD on then suddenly my attitude began to change quickly. Not only did it put me in the holiday spirit, Janssen’s jazz-new age keyboard interpretations of yearly favorites and her own adaptations of seasonal classics was so beautiful and inviting I had to keep giving it a spin, three times in two days actually. When you hear something that is healing and spiritual you want more, it is natural to feel drawn toward the light to put a smile back in your heart.
Once again, Mark Vincent Pence is on hand to lend his expertise to the recording process. His orchestrations are the sweets for the sweet as they say. Pence is a real pro that compliments the artistry of Shannon Janssen in just the right way. That slice of heaven that Janssen is so adept in relaying in her music finds the perfect partner in well-timed orchestrations.
As I recall, the last two albums I heard from this talented lady had the same effect on me. Janssen has enormous potential and it is obvious to me now that she could decide to go in any direction with styles of music and have success. Ultimately, that is the position any musician wants to be in, as having no boundaries makes you more marketable. The only things left for this woman is for the right individual to discover her and present opportunities that allow those great talents to keep on growing and blossoming. This was an obvious choice to make a Christmas album and every composition is strong, her piano playing congeals with every element around her. What is there left to say? Holiday music is supposed to make you feel great, and without a doubt, The Keys Of Christmas gets the job done without any vocals. This album is a great triumph as most people like to sing along to their favorite songs. Trust me when I say this, you will not find it necessary to sing. Your heart and soul will be singing right along every step of the way, and that is all you need to make holiday music feel right.