2. It Must Be Christmas Time
3. It's Beginning To Snow
4. When Moonlight Has Hit The Town
5. I'd Like You For Christmas
6. Christmas Is Everywhere
7. Baby It's Cold Outside
8. Santa Baby
9. Silver Bells
10. The Christmas Song
11. Jingle Bells
12. Deck The Halls
THISBE VOS WEBSITE
PURCHASE FROM THISBE VOS
PURCHASE FROM AMAZON
PURCHASE FROM iTUNES
PURCHASE FROM CD BABY
Born in the Netherlands and currently residing in California, Thisbe is a traditional romantic Jazz vocalist in the grand tradition of artists like Peggy Lee, Julie London, Jo Stafford, and Sarah Vaughn. Her voice is as smooth as silk and as warm as fresh gingerbread. She is, in short, exactly the kind of artist you want to listen to while snuggling with your special someone by a cozy fire.
Were Thisbe "merely" a vocalist, she would already be extraordinary. But she's also a songwriter and producer...a triple threat...a modern day renaissance woman. Remarkably, the music Thisbe writes sounds as though it were written in the Golden Age of The Great American Songbook and Tin Pan Alley. This is the style in which she trades--not just because it fits her voice like an extra long satin glove--but because she loves it. Talented from an early age, Thisbe gravitated to this musical path--once well trod but nearly abandoned in recent decades--against the advice of pretty much everyone who advised her there was much more money to be made elsewhere.
It might just be my opinion--I've got no charts or graphs or polls to prove it--but the one place where romantic Jazz is still held in the highest esteem is the world of Christmas music. We all still seek out every obscure track from the Golden Age and worship every note of the original Christmas standards. Even most of those who specialize in other, less traditional and more raucous Christmas sounds, have an appreciation and understanding of the classics. They don't call 'em standards for nothin'. So it makes sense that Thisbe would record a Christmas record and it makes sense that it's an outstanding success. Aside from the sound quality, which is flawless, "A Jazzy Christmas" sounds very much like an album from the 40s or 50s. Friends and family will find it so familiar that they'll be certain they will "remember" the name of the vocalist if given a minute or two. It's no carbon copy, though. Thisbe lets her exceptional musicians have plenty of room, allowing"A Jazzy Christmas" to live up to its title. I can pretty much guarantee you the musicians supporting popular vocalists in the fifties were on a much shorter leash. The formula works perfectly and should easily appeal to just about everyone.
"A Jazzy Christmas" gets off to a swingin' start with "Let It Snow", which Thisbe originally recorded in 2013. Not only is Ms. Vos in top notch form, but we get some stellar work from Gary Matsumoto on piano and Nolan Shaheed on the flugelhorn.
Climbing down the tempo ladder just a bit, we next get the first of Thisbe's four holiday originals, "It Must Be Christmas Time". There a touch of New Orleans in this one without being heavy handed about it. And once again we get brilliant work from Nolan Shaheed and the rest of the horn and woodwind section.
"It's Beginning To Snow", another song written by Thisbe, follows and has a beautiful nostalgic feel to it. It might just be the best Christmas waltz since, well, "The Christmas Waltz".
The third Thisbe Vos original in succession is "When Moonlight Has Hit The Town", my current favorite on the album (though I've been through about eight "my favorite"s since last year). There's a lovely, dreamy intro verse which gives way to a more swinging beat for the song's final two-thirds. This one spotlights Thisbe's vocal skills, and she's got mad skills. Range, phrasing, precision and passion--they're letter perfect. She takes hold of notes even the angels wouldn't attempt.
Time for a little romance. Bobby Troup's "I'd like You For Christmas", most often associated with Julie London, is beautiful when anyone sings it and Thisbe certainly sounds fantastic. But my heart still holds the version by Dave's True Story as "the best ever", so I've lost my ability to be objective about it. All I can fairly say about Thisbe's version is "what's not to love"?
"Christmas Is Everywhere", the final Thisbe original (co-written with Gary Matsumoto), closes out the first half of the record with a staccato tour de force and some fantastic clarinet from Geoff Nudell.
The second half of "A Jazzy Christmas" features familiar songs of the season. Thisbe and Elmer Hopper do Frank Loesser proud on "Baby, It's Cold Outside". "Santa Baby" is sort of obligatory at this point, but at least Thisbe sings it properly--with a sly smile and a wink and completely free of camp or affect. "Silver Bells" gets just a subtle touch of Blues, courtesy of some more mighty fine keyboard work from Mr. Matsumoto. Between that and another superb performance from Thisbe, it's easily one of the best versions I've heard.
If you've been looking for the perfect version of "The Christmas Song" featuring a female vocalist, Thisbe's got it. Yep, your Christmas practically demands Thisbe's "The Christmas Song", which also features some warm and tasty romantic sax, though I'm not sure if that's from Benn Clatworthy or Allan Walker (I'm going to guess Allan, given his history in Blues and R&B). That was one of my earlier "my favorite"s and, listening again, just now, it might have just retaken that mountain.
"Jingle Bells" is one of those songs that, really, requires Jazz and Thisbe and friends give it plenty. Yet another favorite. And the album closes with a slowed down waltz version of "Deck The Halls", which presents a whole lot of beauty to that melody that the traditional versions completely blow right by. I don't even dance and I can see myself spinning around the dance floor with a beautiful lady (who is somewhat inexplicably wearing a Victorian gown; she looks good, though). A very pretty arrangement and a good closer (never thought of "Deck The Halls"as a closing number before).
If you've always liked the standards and music from the era of the Great American Songbook, you're going to love "A Jazzy Christmas". And if you were never all that much into the standards and music from the era of the Great American Songbook, you're going to love "A Jazzy Christmas". Thisbe Vos has created a Christmas album that everyone will agree on. It's a warm comforter that you're going to want to wrap yourself in until Old Man Winter has gone away. The album should be available through all the major on-line retailers and, if you'd like an autographed copy, you can order directly from the lady, herself (be sure to click on the second item in the store window--the one that says "signed").