Easy standouts include the title track and the Bluesy "You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch". Maybe my favorite "Grinch" since the original. "Sleep Now, Little Baby" is another personal favorite. "Breath of Heaven" is gorgeous. I love the arrangement on "Angels We Have Heard On High", which takes the song to a new place without losing familiarity or impact. Even a song like "Jolly Old St. Nicholas," which I don't generally care for, is done up sweet and fun, with an old timey ragtime feel, aided greatly by Ryan Tilby's banjo and Aaron Ashton's fiddle. Kat waltzes easily throughout the record from smile inducing fun to uplifting and heart touching spirituality.
You can preview the entire album at Kat's web site. Digital downloads are available from iTunes and Amazon (and from Kat, of course) and you'll find hard copy CDs on sale on Kat's web site and through CD Baby.
1. Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer
2. Santa Baby
3. Rock n' Roll Christmas
4. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
5. Santa Claus is Back In Town
6. Frosty The Snowman
7. Deck The Halls
8. Hush Lil' Baby (Merry Christmas)
9. O Come All Ye Faithful
10. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
11. The First Noel
12. Blue Christmas
13. Little Drummer Boy
14. Merry Christmas Baby
Thisbe Vos was born in the Netherlands but, these days, calls L.A. home (Patterson, New Jersey? Sorry. Couldn't resist the old Abbott and Costello joke). If you're up on your Greek mythology, Thisbe was one of a pair of ill-fated lovers (a more recent adaptation of the story would be Romeo and Juliet). The name suits her, given the passion and drama (and just the right amount of heartbreak) in her vocal performances. Thisbe began her musical career at a very young age, but started moving towards traditional Jazz during her tenure with the neo-swing band The Jive Aces. In her late teens at the time, Thisbe began writing original Jazz music, inspired by the likes of Ira Gershwin, Irving Berlin and Cole Porter (the best of the best).
Thisbe moved to America in 2008, looking for the musicians who would best complement her vocals. She's since released two albums on her own label, "Sophistication" and last year's "Under Your Spell". For whatever my opinion is worth, "Sophistication" is very good but "Under Your Spell" is bloody brilliant. Drop the virtual needle on that sucker and you'll be instantly transported back to the days when the classics were first written and sung.
Thisbe is currently raising money to fund a Christmas album. She's been "advised" NOT to do a Christmas album at this stage of her career, but she was also "advised" to give up Jazz for Pop music (and, clearly, "the experts" were wrong about that). The album will contain both traditional songs such as "Let It Snow" and "The Christmas Song" as well as some self-written songs that Thisbe promises sound like they could have been written in the 30s, 40s, and 50s. The finished set will be shipped December 1. And here's an interesting twist: Only contributors will be able to get the album this year; the rest of the world will have to wait until next year.
If this sounds like something you want to hear and add to your holiday library, you've got until October 26 to be a part of it. As is usually the case with crowd funded efforts, Thisbe Vos has a variety of levels of support available along with accompanying incentives (your name in the credits, Santa hats, Christmas cards and ornaments, chocolates, private event, etc.). Head to Thisbe's web site to help make some old school Christmas magic and visit her on Facebook for more information.
Take a moment to listen to Thisbe sing "My Favorite Things" from her debut album "Sophistication".
1. At Christmas
2. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
3. Twelve Days Of Christmas
4. Silent Night
5. Winter Wonderland
6. O Holy Night
7. Run Rudolph Run
8. I'll Be Home For Christmas
9. Go Tell It On The Mountain
10. O Come All Ye Faithful
We continue to periodically add items to our Previews and Free pages. Its probably going to take me until next year to get up to full speed again. While I was posting infrequently, the front page, here, became the default drop point for nearly everything. But I like the organization and easy recall of the Previews page and I want to get back to that. I do want to call your attention to our post on the new set from the Claire Lynch Band, which sounds really good and about which we spoke very little on this front page.
And I'm sure I'll have more to say about it later, but its time to add "Jingle Bell Rocks!" to your Christmas list. Retail release of the brilliant documentary about Christmas music collecting people like you and me--you know, crazy people--is drawing nigh. Its currently scheduled for December 9 and you can pre-order through Amazon. Not that I want to discourage you from taking in a screening, if there's one near you. But you know you'll need to own a copy, if only to help your family understand our mutual obsession. Nice write up on this one over at Merry & Bright, btw.