Very cool and soothing holiday beats when the playlist shows Art Four Sale

Image courtesy of cdbaby.com

Image courtesy of cdbaby.com

Evoking memories of 1990’s smooth jazz artists ranging from Urban Knights to David Sanborn, Richard Elliot, and a little bit of Steve Cole–this quartet has all of the smooth sounds of jazz guitar down pat.  And yes, figuring Christmas 2014 is on the fourth day of the workweek during the fourth week of the month made this an easy choice during the most hectic time of the year.

According to Richard Jackson’s review on the group’s website this 2013 holiday album is one where, “most want to find the one that speaks their groove language the most. Four the Holidays could very well be one such recording.”

The group features Paul Buono (guitars and vocals), Dougie Keebler (bass), Guy Lemon (keyboards, percussion, drums), and Ryan Pruitt (drums and percussion).  The album features many soothing renditions of “Feliz Navidad” (Track 1), “Winter Wonderland” (Track 4), and an original arrangement by Paul Bunon lending his guitar with sweet vocals done by Pricilla Coffey on “Merry Merry Christmas” (Track 3).  A really different, near funkier version of “O Little Town of Bethlehem” appears on Track 11, a more up-tempo, bopping version of “O Come All Ye faithful” (Track 9, normally a much slower tempo type of carol) and a much jazzed-up final track of, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”

Great songs to play while serving appetizers or having that holiday ham by your shoulders.  And for the ladies reading, a neat pic of all four guys is on the back of the cardboard.

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What a fun year this was for me in this blog.  Between the many cool reviews and doubling my number for fans following me including the very kind Sherie Julianne, I couldn’t have asked for much more.

Yes, I did promise really big things entering 2014 but it has been very slow in materializing.  The good news is though, Santa is leaving me more than just my typical free Brazil jazz compilation CD outside my short front porch.

At least, I will have another interview (my first done entirely done by email in Portuguese) sometime in January with the lead vocalist on the recently released Talisman album, one time farm girl and rising star in the making in Glaucia Nasser.

Three of my other favorite artists are planning either full-length albums or EP’s of newer material at some point in 2015.  They include, but not limited to:

  • Patricia Talem, after taking most of 2014 off, to both unwind and do other creative works behind the scenes
  • Monica da Silva, I wonder what will be her follow up cover to her first album–a shot wearing a Dolly Parton hat and cute cowboy boots while pretending to hail a cab outside of the Las Vegas Strip?
  • Fabiana Passoni, all the while inbetween raising her three children and keeping her body in tip top shape with more than just those grueling spinning classes.

As I have done in my first few years, anytime a new album/EP arrives in my mailbox–it will get reviewed almost immediately.

I am also planning to end each month reviewing the many dozens of cool compilations.  Plus, if there any other cool Brazilian movies with English subtitles–I will be happy to take any suggestions from you anytime.

What else to expect for 2015?  I will also take some time on a few random weekdays and Sundays to review some really special concerts involving the likes of Ivete Sangalo (look for one neat review the week of Valentine’s Day), Marina Elali, Bebel Gilberto returning to her roots in Rio, and Gal Costa that are already out on DVD.  Album covers will be provided for each blog entry for easy reference.

And yes, there will be some periodic news about any major progress with the venues that is taking place in and around Rio as they frantically prepare to welcome the world’s greatest athletes before the first ever Summer Olympics to take place on the continent of South America in late July 2016.

Unlike this past summer’s World Cup, when I decided to keep the blog dark and not do any posts–there will be pretty big plans which I hope to have the time to talk about in bits and pieces as we get closer to Rio’s watershed moment.

Feliz Natal, Feliz Ano Novo…

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year to one and all.

May 2015 bring you every joy and success.

See you the first full week of January as I go back to basics.  There will be a concise review of a triple CD featuring over four dozen great songs in that timeless style simply known as bossa nova.

Season’s Greetings.

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