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Tommy Smith

The Christmas Album

Tommy Smith "The Christmas Album"featuring Tommy Smith (tenor saxophone), Gareth Williams (piano), Orlando Le Fleming (bass), Sebastiaan De Krom (drums)

  1. Winter Wonderland
  2. God Rest, Ye Merry Gentlemen
  3. Auld Land Syne
  4. I’ll Be Home For Christmas
  5. The Holy & The Ivy
  6. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
  7. We Three Kings
  8. The Christmas Song


John Fordham (The Guardian) — This might sound a bit of a turkey, as you might say, since it’s composed entirely Christmas songs, played by Scottish saxophonist Smith and a trio. But it’s impressive how well the sentimentality is replaced by a mysterious, almost abstract air. Winter Wonderland becomes a glimmering musical landscape rather than a Christmas card, with Smith’s haunting tenor sax curling over Gareth Williams’ enigmatic piano riff, and God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen is a hard-toned, thundering Coltrane-quartet swinger. Smith’s superb tone control at low volumes poignantly reinvents Silent Night; Auld Lang Syne has a cocky strut to it, and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas murmurs like a drier Ben Webster before turning to the lazy mid-tempo swing effortlessly furnished by Orlando leFleming (bass) and Sebastiaan de Krom (drums). Whatever he does, Smith sounds like a man in charge these days.