Search - Charles Kuralt, Hilda Harris :: Bending Towards the Light

Bending Towards the Light
Charles Kuralt, Hilda Harris
Bending Towards the Light
Genres: Jazz, Special Interest, Pop
 
  •  Track Listings (21) - Disc #1

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All Artists: Charles Kuralt, Hilda Harris
Title: Bending Towards the Light
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 1
Label: Alpha Matrix
Release Date: 11/14/1995
Album Type: Import
Genres: Jazz, Special Interest, Pop
Styles: Modern Postbebop, Swing Jazz, Bebop, Holiday & Wedding
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 600444100429

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Album Description
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CD Reviews

Not like being there but it will have to do.
Samuel Chell | Kenosha,, WI United States | 12/09/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"(I'm raising my rating from 3 to 5 stars after a couple more listens. You may wish to start with the finale, a 30-minute, choreographed, moveable jam session for the ages on "Deck the Halls." I've never heard anything quite like it. Each group arrives at the manger--first saxes, then trombones, then trumpets--and blows the roof off of the stable, outdoing the previous group in its musical offering. And in between the groups are individual pilgrims--Toots Thielmans, Adam Makiewicz, Russell George--with equally spirited offerings.)

Not the usual jazzing up of pop Christmas tunes but a jazz nativity based on the Christmas story of the Gospels (though this did not prevent a Manhattan Rabbi from offering his synagogue for one of the performances), the musical pageant features the likes of Brubeck, Hampton, Puente dressed up as Wise Men, Shepherds, Angels. And as the title suggests, the production was as theatrical and visual as it was musical (veteran tap dancer Jimmy Slyde is one of the "stars"). All of which makes for a great experience for the spectator fortunate enough to have been in attendance (it's not clear to me whether the production, originally suggested by Rev. John Gensel in the middle 1980's and a regular annual event at least through the mid-90's, is still alive). As a recording, the miking is irregular in keeping with the moveable nature of the musical feast, but once each group of pilgrims arrives at the stable, the tuneful offerings are in sharp focus.

Musical highlights include the Grady Tate vocal that introduces the proceedings, Dave Brubeck's swinging hymn (in 5/4, of course), and the marathon "Deck the Halls" (sort of a "Jazz at the Philharmonic" all-star jam session on chord changes remarkably close to Charlie Parker's "Confirmation") that brings the show to a rousing, spirited close, with the trumpets of John Faddis, Byron Stripling, and Lew Soloff soaring into the stratosphere above Bethlehem skies. It's bracing, exhilarating music but certainly not, as another reviewer has stated, "shrill"--unless you're averse to unmuted trumpet virtuosity in the style of Maynard Ferguson, Cat Anderson, Arturo Sandoval, or early Dizzy Gillespie. (This baby Jesus was no Chet Baker or Chris Botti fan.)"
Swinging Stable--A Birthday Party for the Ages
Samuel Chell | Kenosha,, WI United States | 12/24/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"What a joy it is to learn that this tradition has been brought back to NYC for Christmas 2005 (wish it had been running a couple of years ago, when I was in town and had to settle for the Rockettes). And to imagine that a few of the original musicians are still with the production--namely violinist Russell George and the ageless wonder, tap dancer Jimmy Slyde--though it would be hard to top the personnel and performance captured on this 1995 release. You may wish to start with the finale, a 30-minute, choreographed, moveable jam session on "Deck the Halls." I've never heard anything quite like it. Each group arrives at the manger--first saxes, then trombones, then trumpets--and blows the roof off of the stable, outdoing the previous group in its musical offering. And in between the groups are individual pilgrims--Toots Thielmans, Adam Makiewicz, Russell George--with equally spirited offerings. What follows is my original review:

Not the usual jazzing up of pop Christmas tunes but a jazz nativity based on the Christmas story of the Gospels (though this did not prevent a Manhattan Rabbi from offering his synagogue for one of the performances), the musical pageant features the likes of Brubeck, Hampton, Puente dressed up as Wise Men, Shepherds, Angels. And as the title suggests, the production was as theatrical and visual as it was musical (veteran tap dancer Jimmy Slyde is one of the "stars"). All of which makes for a great experience for the spectator fortunate enough to have been in attendance (it's not clear to me whether the production, originally suggested by Rev. John Gensel in the middle 1980's and a regular annual event at least through the mid-90's, is still alive). As a recording, the miking is irregular in keeping with the moveable nature of the musical feast, but once each group of pilgrims arrives at the stable, the tuneful offerings are in sharp focus.

Musical highlights include the Grady Tate vocal that introduces the proceedings, Dave Brubeck's swinging hymn (in 5/4, of course), and the marathon "Deck the Halls" (sort of a "Jazz at the Philharmonic" all-star jam session on chord changes remarkably close to Charlie Parker's "Confirmation") that brings the show to a rousing, spirited close, with the trumpets of John Faddis, Byron Stripling, and Lew Soloff soaring into the stratosphere above Bethlehem skies. It's bracing, exhilarating music but certainly not, as another reviewer has stated, "shrill"--unless you're averse to unmuted trumpet virtuosity in the style of Maynard Ferguson, Cat Anderson, Arturo Sandoval, or early Dizzy Gillespie. (This baby Jesus clearly was no Chet Baker or Chris Botti fan.)"