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December 13, 2015 / robinswood

A Jazz Piano Christmas 2015


Once again, NPR has provided a rich and filling banquet of piano music for the season. This year’s version of A Jazz Piano Christmas features two of my favourites – Kenny Barron and Fred Hersch – along with two newer faces I’m now coming to appreciate. Of those newer faces, one is particularly new… 12 year old Joey Alexander, whose debut album My Favorite Things has recently been nominated for two Grammy Awards. By comparison, that makes 33 year old Carmen Staaf a veteran!

For me the standouts are Carmen Staaf’s version of “The Coventry Carol”, Fred Hersch’s take on Joni Mitchell’s “River”, and Kenny Barron’s thrilling rendition of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.” But don’t take my word on it… take an hour, and listen to the full radio broadcast. After that, you can get even more listening in by taking in the various songs that were recorded but not included in the NPR broadcast. The streaming audio is being made available for free courtesy of NPR, and can be accessed by clicking here.

And because this is an annual concert held at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., there’s an amazing back-catalogue of concerts available online. One of my personal favourites is the 2011 edition, which you can read more about elsewhere on this blog.




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