Dmitri Matheny

Santa's Got a Brand New Bag

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Flügelhornist Dmitri Matheny's Christmas jazz album mostly features his regular group (with Kenny Brooks on tenor and soprano, guitarist Brad Buethe, pianist Darrell Grant, bassist Ruth Davies, and drummer Jason Lewis), although various numbers also feature the French horn of Mark Taylor; Rob Burger on accordion; and vocals by Paula West, Clairdee, and Brenda Boykins (who is a bit annoying on "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch"). Other than the latter piece, the performances all work quite well. Highlights include happy versions of such songs as "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town," "Winter Wonderland," and "Let It Snow." The closing "The Christmas Song" is taken as a brief, unaccompanied flügelhorn solo. A recommended acquisition for one's Christmas jazz collection.

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