Tom Grant

Winter Warm

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This is a most unusual entry in the discographies of both Tom Grant and Rebecca Kilgore. Grant is best known as a cheerful crossover keyboardist usually heard in pleasant commercial settings. Kilgore is one of the best swing singers of the past 20 years, usually performing with her BED group and invigorating songs of the 1930s, '40s, and '50s with her charm, perfect note placement, and natural swing. Winter Warm is something very different for both of the co-leaders. This is a set of Christmas songs that they perform as duets and (for eight of the 14 numbers) trios with bassist Dave Captein. Familiar Yuletide favorites alternate with such lesser-known pieces as Dave Frishberg's "Snowbound," "Christmas Dreaming," and Burt Bacharach's "Winter Warm." Kilgore sings the material very simply, sticking close to the melodies and giving the themes a great deal of warmth and happiness without improvising much. Grant serves as the perfect accompanist, is tasteful in his short solos, and takes a few effective vocals, harmonizing with Kilgore on "Christmas Dreaming." The unlikely combination works quite well with the music sounding as if two (and sometimes three) old friends simply got together to perform some of their favorite Christmas songs.

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