Album Review of
Christmas Time Is Here

Written by Joe Ross
November 23, 2021 - 1:44pm EST
Review Rating Star Review Rating Star Review Rating Star Review Rating Star

While pursuing a career as a Dallas-based luxury retail buyer, Carolyn Lee Jones also chased her dream of becoming a classic jazz and vintage pop vocalist. She burst onto the jazz scene in 2008 and performs with various groups, including Fresh Vintage Jazz, The Satin Dolls Band and In Full Swing (octet to big band). With an enchanting holiday repertoire of both favorites and less-oft-heard songs, Carolyn Lee Jones provides a compelling set of melodic Christmas magic arranged with a cast of consummate jazz instrumentalists. Jones sings with affable personality and exquisite tone.

Using their instruments as complementary voices, the songs’ arrangers (Brad Williams and David Pierce) and musicians are able to convey many musical moods. The title cut is given a particularly nostalgic mood by emphasizing bowed bass and cello. Latin flavorings reimagine “The Christmas Song” with guitar and piano, “Toyland” with strings and trombone, a classic love song written by Bobby Troup for his wife Julie London, “I’d Like You for Christmas” is presented in waltz time. A big band arrangement of “Merry Christmas Baby” offers the bluesy lyrics over a shuffle rhythm.  Jones really shines on swinging numbers like “Jingles the Christmas Cat” and “Red Christmas” where she can tap into both delicate restraint and sassy spirit. Because of its eclectic, jazzy nature, “yule” definitely enjoy the grooves on this holiday album. (Joe Ross, Roots Music Report)