Vibraphonist Warren Wolf to Release Holiday Album “Christmas Vibes” on Sept. 18, 2020
Vibraphonist Warren Wolf Conjures a Soulful and Swinging Holiday Spirit on New Christmas Album
The album features classic carols, offbeat pop songs and an original addition to the Christmas Canon
Whether you’re wrapping gifts on Christmas Eve, drinking eggnog around the tree, or scouring the web for shopping deals, Christmas Vibes provides more than good cheer and glad tidings – it sets the vibe for a happy holiday.
**This is access to a recording of his live performance on our stage on Sept. 17, 2020.**
Warren Wolf, vibes
Todd Simon, piano
Jeff Reed, bass
CV Dashiell, drums
Micah Smith, vocals
There’s no shortage of Christmas music out there that can evoke the holiday spirit. But it takes a master of groove and swing like Warren Wolf to conjure a true feeling of Christmas Vibes. On his new album, the vibraphone great and father of five offers an album of jazzy Yuletide cheer sure to provide the ideal soundtrack to the season for the hippest families on the block.
Due out September 18 via Mack Avenue Records, Christmas Vibes presents Wolf’s interpretation of some perennial favorites (“O Christmas Tree,” “Winter Wonderland”) alongside left-field choices (“Happy Xmas (War Is Over),” “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch”) and a new original song that captures the loving but hectic atmosphere of the Wolf house at Christmas. Carrying on in the R&B and gospel-tinged style of Wolf’s most recent Mack Avenue release, Reincarnation, the album offers a unique, soulful twist on Christmas caroling.
Asked why he decided to record an album of Christmas songs, Wolf laughs as he offers a two-word answer: “peer pressure.” Not that he was under any professional pressure – in fact, he approached Mack Avenue with the idea. The label had previously featured the vibist on its all-star 2014 collection, It’s Christmas on Mack Avenue, where he guested with the Aaron Diehl Trio on Vince Guaraldi’s “Christmas Time Is Here,” provided narration for “Santa Claus, Go Straight To the Ghetto,” and performed a stunning rendition of “Carol of the Bells” on the vibes.
Wolf takes an even more prominent role than usual on Christmas Vibes, playing all the piano and keyboard parts as well as spotlighting his usual virtuosity on the vibes. In part, it was the outcome of necessity: the album was recorded in mid-March, just as much of the country was beginning to shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, necessitating some last-minute changes of plan. But it also gave the leader a long-overdue opportunity to showcase his multifarious talents.
In enlisting the rest of the ensemble for the album, the native Baltimorean stuck with the family dynamic so central to the Christmas spirit, enlisting musicians from the “DMV” area – D.C., Maryland and Virginia.
Drummer Carroll “CV” Dashiell III; vocalists Micah Thomas, Allison Bordlemay Christie Dashiell (sister of CV)
In making his own contribution to the Christmas song tradition, Wolf decided to again stick close to home and family. “The night before Christmas at my house is always hectic,” he says. “My kids like to stay up late, playing and running around, yelling that Santa Claus is coming in the morning. They don’t go to bed until 10 or 11 o’clock, and then my wife, her best friend and I stay downstairs wrapping presents for the next two or three hours. Then first thing in the morning my kids go nuts all over again, jumping all over everybody. Let’s just say we wake up to lots of love.”
Showtime is 7 pm ET/6 pm CT/5 pm MT/4 pm PT/11 pm GMT
Streaming cost is $7
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