The world is flooded with Christmas albums. Do we need another one with the same old Christmas hymns? When Maysa is the performing artist, definitely yes. On A Very Maysa Christmas (2014) she works together with the excellent producer and keyboardist Chris "Big Dog" Davis.

Further musicians on this albums are Ace Livingston (bass), Rhon Lawrence, Wayne Bruce and Randy Boland (guitar), Thomas Dyani Akuru and Jazz Leak Akuru (percussion), Dexter Pettyway (drums), Gerald Albright (sax) and a large number of singers.

The album starts with the popular Christmas hymn Joy To The World. After an excellent intro Maysa introduces to her impressive choral arrangement. She approaches the song with a jazzy treat and a faster pace. She also gives Jingle Bells a new direction in this style.

Maysa doesn't cling to the traditional interpretation, but bestows each song like The First Noel an own character. Despite all familiarity she entertains with brilliant innovation. To present The Night Before Christmas as a rap is forgivable in the light of Santa Claus Is Coming To Town as a scat song.

The cheerful Silver Bells features Gerald Albright on sax in a swinging mood. In 1970 Donny Hathaway released This Christmas, later often copied. Now Maysa duets with Will Downing to catch up in the circle of illustrious artists. It's The Holidays is Maysa's own composition, which she has composed, along with Davis. A Bossa Nova swing with a certain ease.

Christmas Time Is Here was composed by jazz pianist Guaraldi, Lee Mendelson added the lyrics. Both created the score for A Charlie Brown Christmas. Maysa and Rashann Langley make the song a memorable experience. Maysa gives The Little Drummer Boy a magic African flavor. Thomas Dyani Akuru and Jazz Leak Akuru, Maysa's son, create the irresistible drum groove on the Sabar. The album ends with Pray For Peace, a remarkable choral completion.

Maysa has done with A Very Maysa Christmas her fans an excellent Christmas gift. Besides peace and good health you could wish for nothing better.







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Album Information

Title: A Very Maysa Christmas
Artist: Maysa
Year: 2014
Length: 0:43:08
Genre: Christmas Jazz
Label: Shanachie Entertainment

01 Joy To The World [3:41]
02 Jingle Bells [3:48]
03 The First Noel [4:34]
04 The Night Before Christmas/Santa Claus Is Coming To Town [3:25]
05 Silver Bells (Featuring Gerald Albright) [4:00]
06 This Christmas (Featuring Will Downing) [4:43]
07 It's The Holidays [4:07]
08 Christmas Time Is Here [4:37]
09 The Little Drummer Boy [5:06]
10 Pray For Peace [5:08]

Further reviews


Motions of Love

Blue Velvet Soul

Discography: Maysa (1995), All My Life (2000), Out Of The Blue (2002), Smooth Sailing (2004), Sweet Classic Soul (2006), Feel The Fire (2007), Metamorphosis (2008), A Woman in Love (2010), Motions Of Love (2011),  Blue Velvet Soul (2013).