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Jingle Bell Jazz Review
A fixture on the Tucson, Arizona music scene, Rene Taylor has been singing standards and popular music for 20 years, appearing in a variety of settings. Her soulful vocals are respectful to the song’s lyrics and melody, and her interpretations are heartfelt.
Jingle Bell Jazz features Ms. Taylor on 19 Yuletide favorites accompanied by the instruments and arrangements of Alan McPike. The music ranges from a Latin groove on “Jingle Bells,” and a swinging “Let It Snow,” to a big band feel on “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town,” an expressive “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” ballads such as “Hallelujah,” and some performances that are more r&b and funk-oriented. I like the swing tunes best including an uptempo “Mr. Santa” (“Mr. Sandman”) and a happy “Winter Wonderland.”
The main focus throughout is on the singer. Her spirited vocals will generate enthusiasm by lovers of these classic songs, some of whom might want to sing along.
Scott Yanow, jazz journalist/historian