EP: A Latin Jazz Christmas

Latin jazz pianist and band leader Michelle Pollace announces her latest release, a unique twist on traditional Christmas songs ... instrumental Latin Jazz arrangements! Hear holiday classics in the form of exuberant rhythms reminiscent of bossa nova and salsa. Perfect for setting the celebratory mood at your family gatherings and ugly sweater parties!

"Deck the Halls" as a light and bouncy cha-cha-cha, complete with string arrangements to capture that classic charanga orquesta vibe? We got that. How about a rollicking Latin jazz version of "Joy to the World", or a chill electric piano-driven bossa version of "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" reminiscent of 70s grooves? We got that too. "What Child is This" is a full-on Afro 6/8 jam ... this collection will add spice to your holidays! It even pairs well with eggnog.

The collection of four songs showcases Michelle Pollace's capability as an arranger. Her arrangements have won widespread praise in the past, notably on her previous full-length album, New Beginning. That CD features eight critically acclaimed compositions, as well as arrangements of two classic songs, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and Cuban piano piece "La Comparsa". Mark Tucker of Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange had high praise for Michelle's arrangement of the former: "Think 'Somewhere over the Rainbow' has been done to death yet? You couldn't be more wrong, 'cause Michelle Pollace kicks off New Beginning with a version that interpolates Guaraldi and Brubeck, dancing the old standby through the county fair in a spring dress of pastel colors and high spirits. Her version even makes one wonder why no one's tackled it in this fashion before."

Similarly, Linda Yohn, Award-Winning Music Director, WEMU 89.1 FM, applauded New Beginning during her show's premier of that album: "While her left hand builds tension and sinuous rhythms, her right plies lacy figures and tricky arpeggios. Lest you think this is a highly intellectual experience, I must add that this disc has another crucial component of good Latin jazz: it is loads of fun!"

Michelle and her band bring the same sense of creativity, attention to craft, and just plain joy to this fun collection of traditional holiday songs. "A Latin Jazz Christmas" is available in two formats: via download at CD Baby, iTunes, etc., and as a mail-ready Christmas card. This novel greeting idea lets music enthusiasts give the gift of holiday music in the Christmas card they send; the packaging is a mail-ready jacket, with colorful CD artwork on the front, and a blank back side for address labels and stamp. Before using the supplied wafer seal to close the mailer, senders can insert a Christmas letter, family pictures, or other greeting along with the CD. These cards are $6 apiece and are sure to be one of the more memorable cards/mailed gifts received!

Michelle Pollace - arrangements, piano, shakers, loops
Sam Sotelo - drums, timbales
Willie Garza - congas, bongos, chekere, bells
Ron Sotelo - bass
Guest musician: Lucy Skystone, violins

Recorded by Doug Pohorski, Acoustic Sound Shop, San Jose, CA
Mixed/Mastered by Steven Glaze, ToneFreq Studios, San Jose, CA


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