Jack Frost & the Christmas Band – Volume 1

Nov22

This disc of eight Christmas songs (The First Noel being the only “carol” of the bunch) is brought to us by producer Ivan Valles, a gifted drummer/percussionist who owns IVM Music in Miami. Not a place one typically associates with Christmas.

“Jack Frost” and the band are, Ivan and some of his talented musician friends. The CD contains the blurb “Holiday songs that everyone loves in an easy listening jazz feel” and that’s a fairly good description. This is certainly a disc that you would want to have playing if you were having a Christmas dinner party.

Giovanni Piacentini’s vocals seem straight out of the 1940′s. He seems a bit of a throwback when compared to vocalists who seem more concerned about their chops than the song. From the first verse of the opener, a jaunty version of It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas, to the closing, haunting melody of I’ll Be Home for Christmas, you can almost picture him singing in one of those old black and white holiday movies.

But the real “jazz feel” is supplied by the wonderful understated piano and keyboard work of Simon Char. His light touch carries the group, and every time he gets a short space to solo, he strikes just the right balance. He certainly lives by the old adage, “leave them wanting more.”

And “more” is kind of the feeling you have when listening. You sort of wish there was more jazz (and less “easy listening”), more chance for the group to truly showcase their stuff. Some songs, like The First Noel, Christmas in Killarney and White Christmas are done a little more straight than one might have liked. And there are certainly some strange moments – Silver Bells, in particular, is a song that has some strange choices in arrangement, from the out-of-nowhere slide solo to the chord progressions in the choruses – but on the whole this CD gives you just the right touch of the holiday spirit.

Peace


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About David Hodge

Since joining Guitar Noise in November 1999, David has written over a thousand articles, lessons, interviews and reviews. He also serves as the site's Managing Editor, supervising all content in addition to the continued writing of his own lessons and articles.

In April 2013, David also joined the writing staff of Answers.com, heading up their Guitar Pages.

And if that wasn't enough to keep him busy, David also contributes frequently to Acoustic Guitar Magazine. He also is the author of three Idiot's Guide to Guitar books: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Guitar, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Playing Rock Guitar and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Playing Bass Guitar as well as The Complete Idiot's Guide to Playing the Ukulele and the co-writer of The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Art of Songwriting.

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