For most of us we tend to forget the enjoyment and fun we had during the holidays as a child. Les DeMerle and band deliver The Jazz Spirit of Christmas, which ignites that feel good and exuberant attitude we felt back in our childhood holiday memories. A sizzling and vivacious tribute to some of the holiday’s classics exists inside this jewel case.
Push play and the DeMerle’s sleigh ride takes all of us through a New Orleanesque wonderland of sound. Released this year by Origin Records, The Jazz Spirit of Christmas captures numerous tones, from blues to swing, Brazilian to bossa nova, offering high-energy arrangements showcasing true innovation. This is an enthralling spin!
"Extraordinary" best defines the talents of Bonnie Eisele who just illuminates the holiday ambiance with her powerful and striking vocals. In some ways reminiscent of Keely Smith with a faint touch of Billie Holiday but having that dynamic signature tone, making it difficult to focus on just one premiere performance of hers. If one is forced into such a decision, Eisele heats up the sensual and at times sultry classic Santa Baby, a hot compliment to Eartha Kitt’s creation.
Santa Claus Is Coming To Town is one performance that stands out. Tom Snow’s arrangement, offers pure exhilaration when experienced, grasping the attention of every ear in the room. Eisele again puts the tinsel on this creation. Very cool cut!
In all cuts listen closely, arrangements are all orchestrated with finesse and precise timing, focus on the clarinet pieces very strong as is all the parts of each set.
For all that is shelved each holiday season one or two projects need to stand out to draw the attention of music fans. DeMerle’s band has succeeded becoming one of those projects. The Jazz Spirit of Christmas will in fact rejuvenate the most mind numbing of holiday parties.