Nicole Henry, Set For The Season: Live In Japan (Banister)

-Down Beat Magazine Editors Picks

By Bobby Reed

Most CD buyers nowadays don’t get very excited about a holiday music album that only contains the same old chestnuts they’ve heard year after year by dozens of various vocalists. For a Christmas disc to fly, it typically needs to have three ingredients: some gospel or spiritual material; some jocular, secular material; and finally, a few unexpected twists. Jazz vocalist Nicole Henry delivers the goods with her new disc, which was recorded in 2009 at the Cotton Club in Tokyo. Backed by the trio of Pete Wallace (piano), James McCoy (bass) and David Chiverton (drums), Henry offers a soaring version of “O Holy Night” that is highly dramatic without lapsing into histrionics. Prior to getting this CD, I thought “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer” was a warhorse I never wanted to hear again, but Henry’s luscious timbre, carefully sculpted notes and clever, comedic asides have salvaged the tune for me. Henry and McCoy’s vocal duet on “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” sizzles with sensuality, including her particularly amusing delivery for this line of dialogue: “Ooh, what did you do to my hair?” The program is bookended with a couple of delightful twists: a supple, muscular rendition of “My Favorite Things” and a bouncy, boogie-woogie-tinted “I’d Rather Drink Muddy Water.” ’Tis the season for great music.

via: Down Beat Magazine                                         http://www.downbeat.com/default.asp?sect=editorspicks201112#5

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About Jazz In The Gardens

Jazz in the Gardens has easily become the City of Miami Gardens’ premiere entertainment event. Having 11 years of history under its belt, Jazz in the Gardens celebrates diversity, culture and art through various genres of music. Event-goers find themselves entrenched in the rich beats and musical stylings that vibrate from the stage. The event not only brings world-renowned talent to Miami Gardens, but it gives local artists the opportunity to be seen, heard and possibly discovered. Jazz in the Gardens (JITG) music festival has been deemed as the undeniable “travel destination for the spring.” JITG occurs annually in March and serves as the inaugural event of the highly anticipated music festival season. The JITG experience is complemented by scenic beaches, plentiful shopping, incredible golf courses, 5-star restaurants, and many other inviting attractions which make South Florida a “must visit” destination. The City of Miami Gardens and its partners are committed to producing an extraordinary experience for our supporters and sponsors.
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