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ARTIST
TITLE
The National Jazz Trio of Scotland's Christmas Album
FORMAT
CD

LABEL
CATALOG #
KK 070CD KK 070CD
GENRE
RELEASE DATE
11/27/2012

It's a debut that isn't really a debut, by a trio that isn't a trio; a Christmas album that's unlike almost any other Christmas album, and quite possibly jazz for people with an especially subtle and sophisticated concept of what jazz might be. Yes -- the songs all look familiar, but it's unlikely you've ever heard such a spooked version of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen," or "The Christmas Song" sounding so exquisitely bittersweet. Melodies are taken apart and rebuilt with the daring of Anita O'Day or Sheila Jordan, and delicate, looping, sampled arrangements throw frosty new light on lyrics we've always taken for granted -- or perhaps never properly heard. When you think of the National Jazz Trio Of Scotland, think Moondog plays Bacharach, and you're pretty much there. Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat recently won the inaugural Scottish Album of the Year Award for their collaborative album Everything's Getting Older, released on Chemikal Underground. The seed of this Christmas record was sown back in 2010, when Alasdair Campbell asked Bill to curate a Black Xmas gig at the Tolbooth in Stirling -- most of these arrangements were written for that event. The samples are of Bill playing guitar or bass, and Aby Vulliamy playing viola, recorded by Bill's collaborator Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub) "a while back." The beautiful artwork is by another old friend, Jad Fair. Bill Wells (piano, keyboards and samples), Aby Vulliamy (vocals), Lorna Gilfedder (vocals), Kate Sugden (vocals) and Gerard Black (vocals).