Vintage Christmas Trio
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VINTAGE CHRISTMAS TRIO is David Ian s long-awaited full-length follow up to his debut success Vintage Christmas. His purest release to date, this album features instrumental-only jazz trio interpretations of Christmas favorites using the most minimal elements--highlighting Ian s craft as pianist and arranger. David Ian s delightful performances transport you to an era that birthed the most sentimental songs of this season.
The opener, Deck the Halls welcomes in the Christmas spirit with a swinging trio. David Ian s signature sound shines throughout the album as he transforms the often stately Joy to the World into a jazz/blues injected festivity and then carries the listener into a dreamier state with the ever-loved classic White Christmas.
The lyrical bass solos of Jon Estes tastefully splash their way on numerous tracks supported by the clever drumwork of Josh Hunt, who together comprise a perfectly ornamental rhythm section.
We Three Kings takes on a new form with a reflective mood; an unexpected arrangement of a Christmas classic, more forgotten in recent years. In Silver Bells, Ian masterfully and fluidly switches back and forth from swing to straight time.
The close of the album is a solemn O Come, All Ye Faithful, stripped down to just piano and percussion. If you listen closely, your ears might catch the chirps of a winter bird complementing this moving musical performance.
Let this vintage soundtrack enrich your Christmases present and future.
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In 2015 the Toronto-born David Ian released his first Vintage Christmas album, a very pleasant collection of Christmas standards inspired, he says, by Bill Evans and Vince Guaraldi. He's back this year with Vintage Christmas Trio, which features bassist Jon Estes and drummer Josh Hunt. These are appropriately relaxed and spare arrangements, steering clear of lounge excrescences and adding tasteful bits of Bach and the blues. There are some really successful songs here; one of my favourites is the under-appreciated Johnny Marks tune I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, which features a fine bass solo by Estes with Bill Evans-style voicing from Ian. Another fine song is It Came Upon a Midnight Clear, with standout percussion from Hunt. I heard this morning the sad, sad news about the passing of Walter Becker. His Steely Dan partner Donald Fagen said in a statement "We liked a lot of the same things: jazz (from the twenties through the mid-sixties)..." This isn't about any neo-Bop purism, especially of the muddled kind peddled in La La Land. It's really more about the nostalgic legacy of the Baby Boomer (Becker was only two years older than me), and that's what we're getting in this mid-century-designed album, for the Feast Day of Baby Boomer Nostalgia, December 25th.