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New York Voices, the internationally hailed vocal ensemble, released its Christmas CD, the appropriately titled Let It Snow on Oct. 29 on Five Cent Records.
Filled to the brim with holiday staples with a cappella renditions as well as classics using studio orchestras and that big band vibe, Let It Snow commemorates the quartet’s 25th anniversary. Consisting of Kim Nazarian, Lauren Kinhan, Darmon Meader and Peter Eldridge, with the help of Grammy Award winning producer/engineer Elliot Scheiner, who has also worked with Steely Dan and Manhattan Transfer, New York Voices have created an album complete with honored holiday songs blended with unique jazz and swing elements making them quite danceable as well as festive. In addition, a cappella arrangements are amped up by vigorous studio orchestra accompaniment and that signature big band feel.
The opening track is the title track, which begins with a bang as the forceful array breathes new life into this holiday song essential. With Meader in charge of the vocal arrangement, the vocal scatting and brilliant harmonizing plus his tenor sax solo by make the quintessential opening track for a holiday music album such as this. It’s also the perfect song to listen to by the fire while sipping hot cocoa and opening presents.
“O, Little Town of Bethlehem” is the album’s third track. It begins slowly with relaxed jazz, percussion and light piano in the background. The soothing a cappella vocals add a calm element and a jazzy notion with light scatting from both male and female members. In addition, the guitar solo by Bob Mann gives the song a light rock ambiance.
“Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” is a cappella at its finest. The gentle harmonizing could remind listeners of Christmases past. One could even envision this song being sung by a group on the NBC a cappella singing competition hit show The Sing-Off.
“O Come, All Ye Faithful” starts with sax and piano play that has an easy jazz flow to it. Featuring Eldridge as the lead vocalist, he’s surrounded by a full orchestra and flattering background vocals that only add to his powerful holiday message.
“The Merry Medley" is a distinctive track. Kinhan, Meader and Nazarian are all showcased as lead vocalists on this track, which is a collection of three cherished holiday ditties “The Man with the Bag,” “I’d Like You for Christmas” and “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” With its big band air, it spotlights sax play as well as piano, light drumming as well as flawless vocal scatting by the harmonious quartet.
There is no doubt that Let It Snow by the New York Voices will go down as one Christmas album remembered for its wonderful harmonizing, a cappella prowess and the quartet’s ability to put their own unique stamp on holiday classics that have stood the test of time.