This CD offers holiday tunes in a very hip big-band setting, with some real veterans of the Jazz scene joining in. Headed by Gap on keyboards, the players include Steve Gadd, drums; Grant Geissman, guitar and synth; Gerry Niewood and Pat Labarbera, saxes/flute; and Dennis Tribuzzi, trumpet, along with about a dozen other cats.
Tunes include "O Christmas Tree," "Santa Clause Is Coming to Town," "Joy to the World," and a couple of numbers about New Year's Eve. But Gap has also slipped in some originals from his extensive book-non-holiday tunes like "Cinco de Mayo" and "Sweet Cheryl Lynn" by his brother Chuck.
The CD is laid out like a family photo album like you'd find on someone's mantel. Pictures of family gatherings, weddings, and dinners from the fifties give this date a very personal feel. And with this cast of characters, the playing is first rate.
By Michael Handler