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The Sounding Board by R J Lannan
RJ Lannan is the reviewer for The Sounding Board.
Other reviews from The Sounding Board by R J Lannan:
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Echoes of Christmas
By Louis Colaiannia and Brittany Dymond
Label: Self Released
Released 11/11/2016
Echoes of Christmas tracks
1. The First Noel
2. Winter's Fire
3. Winter Wonderland
4. Away in a Manger
5. Bethlehem Star
6. Silent Night
7. O Holy Night
8. Deck the Halls
 
Echoes of Christmas
Veteran musician Louis Colaiannia, joined by songstress Brittany Dymond, adds his legendary piano style to Echoes of Christmas. They seem to make a festive and agreeable twosome as they offer eight holiday standards by way of instrumental music and vocals. Colaiannia's style seems improvisational, but he always makes it sound easy. Dymond has a gentle voice, young and strong and often sounding baby soft.

The album opens with the traditional piece, The First Noel. Louis uses a melodic intro while Brittany joins in mid song with a tender vocal. The music is nostalgic as if you are listening to someone back in the day, singing in the parlor in front of the yuletide fire.

The next song is Winters's Fire and it is one with which I was unfamiliar, but it was my favorite instrumental on the album. There is something cold, but clear, jazzy, but eclectic about the striking melody. You could almost imagine the driving snow, pushed by a harsh wind covering everything. A whispering voice and glass chimes lets you know the winter is here to stay. Great sax by Ike Spivak.

Away in the Manger featured Brittany's passionate voice. The low toned piano by Louis again contributed to the anachronistic feel of the album. Once known as "Luther’s Cradle Song" the melody is thought to be penned by Martin Luther for his own children. The song has become a world favorite.

Bethlehem Star really showcases Colaiannia's piano talents as a major player in the genre. Balancing out Danny Master's electric guitar, the sound brightens the spirit like a starry night. All we have to do is follow its brilliance.

There is a beautiful version of O Holy Night on the album. I was surprised that it wasn't featured as a vocal, but Louis' poignant piano had its one pure voice. O Holy Night or Cantique de Noel got its starts in 19th century France as a simple Christmas poem, but its popularity is worldwide today.

Echoes of Christmas finishes up with the old chestnut, Deck the Halls. Brittany sings a lively version that is easy to sing along with. Everything, including this particular song, had an old timey upright piano feel. And that is what made it special and appealing. If you favor an old time Christmas, this is the album for you.

Highly recommended
- reviewed by RJ Lannan on 12/12/2016
 
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