Friday, November 24, 2017

Album Review: "Winter Lullaby" by Bett Butler

"Winter Lullaby: Songs for the Christmas Child" is a 2016 release of Christmas songs from jazz singer/pianist Bett Butler, featuring multi-instrumentalist Joel Dilley and a cast of top-notch musicians.  Ms. Butler delivers five original songs in addition to seven traditional carols, some well known and some fresh new arrangements of lesser-known seasonal songs.

There's a great jazz vibe running through "Winter Lullaby".  It's a relaxed album, smartly influenced by great jazz standards singers, with a warmth flowing from the music.  The sax accompaniment by Rene Saenz is a perfect complementary musical voice with Bett's vocals, especially on the original tune "Are You Alone on Christmas Day". 

The real standouts on the album are the European influenced tracks.  "Pat-a-Pan" and "Un Flambeau (Bring a Torch), Jeanette, Isabella" with their French-infusion, the Spanish touches in "La Vitgen fue Lavandera", and "El Noi de la Mare" in traditional Catalan and English add a touch of the exotic while staying true to the heart of each song.   These songs really make this album a unique and wholly pleasant addition to any Christmas music collection.

The title track and album closer "Winter Lullaby", one of Bett's compositions, is remarkable.  Bett's vocals are simply beautiful, Joel Dilley's soft accompaniment on guitar is perfect, and the lyrics excel.  "Even angels have to sleep sometime" is the repeated message of comfort in this sublime album finale.

Bett Butler
Every time I listen to a new Christmas album, I get a sense of "fit".  Where does this fit in as a listening experience?  "Winter Lullaby" fits as the soundtrack for a serene Winter evening, lights dim, where one can enjoy the stillness and tranquility of the night.

"Winter Lullaby" at Dragon Lady Records
Bett Butler website

A CD was provided by the artist for review.

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