Barbara Dennerlein: Christmas Soul

Barbara Dennerlein brings the B3 into the Christmas stocking here with Magnus Lindgren/ts-fl-cl, Robert Ikitz/dr, Luca Alemanno/b and Abdissa Assefa/perc. You also get a couple guests, such as vocalist Zara McFarland who’s wispy-husky voice teams up with some African sounds on “Christmas Time” and gives a soulful wink with a thick bass line on “Christmas Song.” Likewise Nicola Conte’s guitar adds to a percussive low rider read of “ Little Drummer Boy” and chimes along on a “What’s Goin’ On” riff during “Sleigh Ride.” Without the guests, you get some smoking soul jazz takes with Lindgren’s tenor on “Let it Snow” and a moaning vibrato on the Hammond on “B’s X-mas Blues” as well as a smoldering 6/8 groove on ”We Three Kings.” This album puts the “soul” back in “solstice.”

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