CHRISTMAS TIME IS HERE by Canadian Brass has recently been released. Five fine brass musicians, each a virtuoso in his own right, form the long lived quintet. Since their 1970 founding , the group has earned an international reputation and the title "the world's most famous brass group." The group's membership, now consisting of its founder, Chuck Daellenbach , Achilles Liarmakopoulos , Christopher Coletti , Caleb Hudson and Eric Reed have together contributed their imagination and musicianship to elevate the art of the brass quintet.
CHRISTMAS TIME features the music of Vince Guaraldi and Luther Henderson; it gives us some of the music from the well-loved television Christmas special A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS, and some longtime popular seasonal favorites. "Frosty the Snowman," "Hark the Herald Angels Sing," "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," "O Tannenbaum," and "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" all receive the jaunty brass treatment of this group. Many of the cuts have a nice smooth jazz styling. Vince Guaraldi's "What Child is This," as beautifully arranged by Brandon Ridenour, was a particular favorite of mine. Also, I was particularly stunned to hear a gorgeous version of Beethoven's lovely "Fuer Elise," originally written for piano - and I should know, as learning this piece was the goal in my long-ago piano lessons - and once I learned it I quit the lessons!
Recently I had the privilege of seeing the group live, and enjoyed their concert immensely. They are fine musicians; they are also very entertaining, with their retro outfits and comic bits. If you ever get the chance to see them, I urge that you do. But meanwhile, here is this nifty new album. Get it if you can.