Bacon / Hickman / Sam Pilafian

Cool Brassy Night at the North Pole

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Trumpeter David Hickman, French hornist Thomas Bacon, and tubaist Samuel Pilafian are backed by the Chuck Marohnic Trio for this classy and utterly listenable and respectful rendition of Christmas carols. The arrangements sparkle, but in fairness, these are more in the nature of jazzy interpretations than jazz music. Hickman and Bacon are classical players by training, although Pilafian has been successful in both classical music and jazz. Hickman has such a beautiful tone on trumpet that anything he plays seems to shine wondrously. Those looking for a Miles Davis meets the Carols will be disappointed; but for a lighthearted approach to some catchy tunes, this one is a minor classic. The horns engage in little improvisation, though the rhythm section swings with abandon.

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