VOICES Notes and news on Jazz Vocals releases
09 DEC 08 ANNE FARNSWORTH
Singer/songwriter Ann Hampton Callaway throws her Santa hat into the ring with This Christmas, released on the Telarc label. Mixing seasonal favorites with originals written by the multi-platinum-winning songwriter, it's a fresh addition to your holiday music collection.
Best known for writing and singing the witty theme song of the '90s-era CBS show The Nanny, Callaway's work has been recorded by a diverse group of singers ranging from Barbra Streisand to Blossom Dearie and Carole King. With roots in jazz, cabaret and Broadway (as both a Tony-nominated composer and performer), Callaway seamlessly combines all of these musical elements on This Christmas.
Orchestrated and arranged by award-winning composer John Clayton and performed by top-shelf jazz instrumentalists, beloved chestnuts like "Jingle Bells" and "Carol Of The Bells" swing under Callaway's rich alto. Clayton's combination of "Silent Night" and the Thad Jones jazz standard "A Child Is Born" brings new life and a fresh perspective to the classic holiday anthem. A string quartet on "White Christmas" underscores the longing of the classic lyric.
Befitting the holiday season, Calloway invites friends and relatives to celebrate with her on this recording. Callaway comes from a show business family and her sister, noted Broadway performer Liz Callaway, joins her on the bittersweet original, "God Bless My Family."
Singer/songwriter Kenny Rankin brings his easy-going manner to a playful "Baby, It's Cold Outside." Listening to their banter is like eavesdropping on a flirtatious couple under the mistletoe -- apparently Callaway loves men with beards. Santa, are you listening?