Rising Stars: Halie Loren brings on soothing holiday favorites with Many Times, Many Ways

Image courtesy of hmv.co.jp

Image courtesy of hmv.co.jp

Part Diana Krall, part Ana Leuzinger of Torcuato Mariano fame, part Lori Mechem, and a range that would make Mariah Carey’s “Merry Christmas, Baby” rendition be treated like giving to your pets an old fruitcake–Halie Loren’s simply calm and soothing vocals teamed up with Matt Treder’s excellent piano renditions make this album a true holiday keeper.

Whether it is one of your soundtracks of choice this holiday season, this album is very sweet, simple, and not real busy.

For those of you have not caught up on this budding Oregon soloist, you can read up on her debut jazz album here:


Released in 2012 by Justin Time Records (get it, a football reference?), the entire album only clocks in a little over 38 minutes.  But there are many gems hidden inside this pearl of cool classics:

  • Track 2, “Winder Wonderland”…Halie picks up a few octaves on the “To face unafraid/The plans that we made”
  • Track 3, an old jazz standard given the late night, pull-up-alongside-your-lover with some blankets by the fireside treatment in “Blue Holiday”
  • Track 4, titled “Sugar Cookies” is a great instrumental song for you bakers out there (got to make that run to Party City and your favorite grocery store to make that next favorite holiday baked delight).
  • Halie picks up the pace on “Let It Snow”.  At times, her voice appears to be fading in and out for brief seconds at a time–but it does not interfere with the rendition.  But she thankfully reverts back to the slower, melodic pace with Track 6, Amy Grant’s beloved 1992 classic carol, “Grown Up Christmas List”.
  • Madonna would be thinking to herself about Track 9.  I wonder how her rendition of “Santa Baby” gets about 17 RPM–nearly half of your typical vinyl record speed, factually speaking.  Just wait until you hear the line about “Santa Cutie”…I would leave it at that.
  • “From the Mouths of Babes” and a song great for people like Glaucia Nasser of Talisman fame (watch this blog space for a really cool interview, fully translated from her native Portuguese sometime after the New Year) and others who spend the holidays in farm communities, “Nature Boy.”

Similar to most artists in mainstream jazz and regular/independent pop rock, the album is in a cardboard case for very easy storage.

I rate this holiday album five stars.  Excellent album to keep around when you are decorating your holiday tree.

Next week, we will go retro as I will feature the only Christmas carol that Lani Hall, Karen Phillip, and the rest of Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66 ever did.

Stay warm, and hopefully you have begun to check off things from your holiday list for friends and family.  I am getting close–but the way people are buying online, there is only so much money to throw around if you want your packages shipped quicker via Priority Mail.

But the domestic shipping deadlines are approaching fast.  Sure hope people are more understanding, where more impatient types would get very irate if they didn’t wrap their exact wishes come Christmas morning.  But if all else fails, a simple note would suffice like, “I ordered the package from the link you told me to purchase from, but there was a problem in shipping last week and it will be here soon.”

Take care, everybody.


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