Warren Hill

A Warren Hill Christmas

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The first couple cuts ("Frosty the Snowman" and "Santa Baby") on the Christmas jazz set A Warren Hill Christmas by crossover altoist Warren Hill are surprising because they feature him playing straight-ahead jazz. Strange how it takes Christmas albums to reveal the jazz talents of some of the smooth players! Some of the other cuts are more "contemporary" or funky, but in general this is a strong set that features Hill at his best. Joined by a five-piece rhythm section that includes guitarist Dwight Sills and keyboardist Dave Kochanski but no background singers, strings, or unnecessary musicians, Hill sounds quite comfortable caressing the Yuletide melodies and adding soul and swing to such tunes as "White Christmas," "The Christmas Song," "Jingle Bells," and "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town." Recommended.

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