Our favorite Christmas jazz singer, Jillaine, has released a new album of Christmas songs for 2015. This time around, Jillaine is joined by vocalist and pianist Jacob for "Jazzy Duets for Christmas", a collection of seven seasonal tunes sure to kick-start your holiday spirit!
Jillaine has a strong, beautiful voice. which she has used to full potential in her three previous Christmas albums, especially in the up-tempo original arrangements of well-known Christmas songs. On "Jazzy Duets", her vocals are as awesome as ever, with strengths in dynamics and phrasing and her love of Christmas music shining through. Duet partner Jacob, in addition to his excellent piano work, joins Jillaine with complementary vocals that blend and smooth. He's the cream in the coffee, the ala mode with the cherry pie, making already great songs even better.
The album kicks off with a nice, upbeat "Marshmallow World", followed by "Winter Wonderland", which for me is the highlight of the record. "Winter Wonderland" highlights a creative arrangement, features some of Jacob's best vocal accompaniment, and wows when Jillaine kicks up the final refrain. Standards "Silver Bells" and "Winter Weather", following the trio of "Give Me Your Heart for Christmas", "Warm December" and "Christmas Dreaming", round out the album.
I need to give a shout-out to Jillaine's brother Erik, who has been a major contributor on all of Jillaine's Christmas albums, including "Jazzy Duets", either as a musician or engineer/general studio dude. Erik's talents have helped produce Jillaine's four exceptional Christmas records.
I'm a big fan of Jillaine, not only her Christmas music but her entire body of work, most notably her collection of patriotic songs "As American as Jazz". She is a hard-working, talented musician who is also in law school studying for her law degree. In her spare time she guest DJs at her hometown radio station in Dubuque, IA , KLYV Y105, and she writes a food blog! (Jazzy Morsels - yum). Foremost, though, she is an amazing musician who has chosen to gift us with now four albums of wonderful Christmas music. I hope there is still more to come.
"Jazzy Duets for Christmas" is available for digital download at Jillaine's website, www.jillaine.com, or at the usual outlets (see below).