Listen to Smooth Jazz Christmas Sound Clips
Broadband Sample Clip (5 tracks) Here
Or listen to each favorite Christmas Carols below.
1. Deck The Halls
2. What Child is This, Away In The Manger
3. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
4. Joy To The World
5. Silent Night
6. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
7. O Holy Night
8. We Three Kings - featuring Ben Vail
9. The First Noel, It Came Upon A Midnight Clear
10. O Come All Ye Faithful
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Christmas Sax Review - Christmas Sax CD
Smooth Jazz News, Issue No.23, December 2001
Review by Jonathan Wildran
Of course it is more tempting for sax lovers to stuff their stockings with the best selling Kenny G, Dave Koz or Boney James CDs, but this smaller indie release by one of smooth jazz’s most durable saxmen is a spirited delight on par with those.
Vail and his right hand man, Rob Mullins, vary the mood nicely, from the frantic, classically tinged soprano-driven opening track “Deck The Halls” (complete with an explosive synth orchestra) to the gentle, reflective “What Child Is This.”
“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and “Joy To The World” balance tender soprano melodies with seductive light funk grooves.
Vail adds a sweet wistfulness to “Silent Night” by choosing to go with flute.
He opens “O Holy Night” with an ominous atmosphere featuring a distant alto flute intro before easing into the main, soft rhythmic tune on soprano.
On the cover of the disc, Vail’s “featuring Rob Mullins” credit seems to give the keyboardist an almost equal billing; the tandem is in perfect sync on the simply arranged, gorgeous piano-soprano duet of “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.”
Mullins adds some exotic chimes and percussion textures to a dreamy rendition of “We Three Kings.”
The variety will more than hold the listener’s interest even as we wonder why he’s wearing sunglasses on a project celebrating songs usually associated with cold and snow.