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Dave Koz & Friends Christmas Ballads (25th Anniversary Collection)

Can we start calling him Mr. Christmas yet? With the release of Christmas Ballads, I'm quite sure Dave Koz joins the ranks of Kenny G, Bing Crosby and Johnny Mathis as a curator of all things musically merry, and the holiday hits just keep on coming with this beautiful batch of heartwarming ballads. If Dave is Mr. Christmas, that must make David Benoit, Rick Braun and Peter White his special elves, because those three amigos light up this record like a fully-festooned holiday tree!

"The Christmas Waltz" sets the seasonal mood with all four lending luscious licks to this festive favourite. They then embrace "Away in a Manger/Silent Night", lending new light to these lovely and long-established lyrics. Peter's guitar is absolutely exquisite on "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen", Dave's sax on "Ave Maria" is breathtaking, "Merry Christmas Darling" is highlighted with Rick and Dave performing a playful answer-back and David Benoit brings smoothly effusive emotion to "Greensleeves".

Whether it is a festive dinner party with family and friends or a quiet Christmas Eve in front of the fire, this new album is the perfect partner to your holiday celebrations. Dave Koz has once again produced the soundtrack to a sentimental and spirited season. Warm up some eggnog and settle in for a cozy winter's night with Dave and the boys and some beautiful Christmas Ballads!

Vickie van Dyke
Midday Host
Vancouver's Coolest Vibe

Chris Standring - Silent NightBeing the host of the 'Night Show', I'm always on the lookout for evening related recordings, especially for the Christmas holidays. UK born/US resident guitarist, Chris Standring, has released a classic Christmas album with a focus on his vintage style of playing. With inspiration from George Benson and Wes MontgomeryChris has developed that real 'cool groove sound' making his guitar playing so distinctive. That cool groove is showcased throughout the album, starting with the very first track, "Deck The Halls" with upright bassists Kevin Axt, (L.A. based in-demand session player) or John Leftwich (Rickie Lee JonesLyle Lovett) and drummer David Karasony (The Rippingtons) rounding out the trio.  With its soft and mellow tone, reminiscent of a Pat Metheny recording, it’s a perfect accompaniment to tree decorating!

Up next is "The Christmas Song" – that certainly takes us back to the 1949 Nat King Cole trio version. Be sure to check out the other holiday favourites like the title song, “Silent Night”,  "Winter Wonderland", "White Christmas" and "The First Noel". Merry Christmas, everyone!

Gary James
Wave 98.3 FM



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