Archive for December 19th, 2011

Dave Koz – Ultimate Christmas

Ultimate Christmas, featuring 18 holiday songs performed by Dave Koz, was released by Capitol/EMI. The collection features the six-time GRAMMY® Award nominee’s renditions of such perennial holiday classics as “The Christmas Song,” “Winter Wonderland,” “Deck The Halls,” “O Tannenbaum (O Christmas Tree)” and “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” plus “White Christmas” featuring Kelly Sweet and “Please Come Home for Christmas” featuring Kimberley Locke.

The songs were hand-picked from Dave’s three previous holiday albums – December Makes Me Feel This Way, A Smooth Jazz Christmas and Memories of a Winter’s Night. Koz also recorded two brand new instrumentals for Ultimate Christmas: Welcoming the Season (Prelude) and Welcoming the New Year (Coda).

Cinque – Catch A Corner

Cinque is comprised of drummer Steve Gadd, bassist Peter Cardinali, Hammond B3 organist Joey DeFrancesco, pianist Robi Botos, who also plays Fender Rhodes, and saxophonist John Johnson.

The set begins with “Conflicting Advice,” a laid-back groove that highlights the entire band. Cardinali’s bass is present throughout, and his horn arrangements add a dose of funk. Johnson leads early on, but Botos and DeFrancesco take turns letting their fingers do the talking. And through it all, Gadd shows why he’s been in demand for so many years, adeptly underscoring whatever else is going on.

“Two Worlds” is a charming ballad. Gadd softens up his drum play, and Cardinali plays a leisurely but elegant bass line. Johnson leads most of the way, with Botos contributing on the Fender Rhodes. The piece has a bossa nova flavor.

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