Monday, December 07, 2015

Corky Hale - Have Yourself A Jazzy Little Christmas

Corky Hale
Have Yourself A Jazzy Little Christmas
LML Music

Those wanting some jazzy holiday cheer might want to check out Corky Hale's new LML Music release, "Have Yourself A Jazzy Little Christmas." Hale is noted as among the foremost harpists in jazz (as well as a pianist) and on this all instrumental date she is heard on piano and celeste as well as harp. Joining her are Kirk Smith on bass and Tom Walsh on drums and percussion.

Her harp is showcased on the opening "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town," followed by some nice piano on "Silver Bells," where Walsh's adds simple, but effective percussive effects. There is simple melodic embellishments to many of the songs including "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" where her harp is ably supported and Walsh's brushes is very praiseworthy, while Smith and him take brief solos. After Leiber and Stoller's lovely "California Christmas," is a peppy latin-tinged "Dreidel Song." She is back on piano for a lovely solo piano rendition of the Mel Torme and Bob Wells standard, "The Christmas Song," before a wistful "Jingle Bells," played on harp. There is angelic harp playing on "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas." "Silent Night" is a piano trio performance where she crafts one of her most intriguing improvisations.

Smith and Walsh provide a funky groove to support her light touch and imaginative piano for "White Christmas," before she opens with celeste then switching to piano on the closing "Avld Lang Syne." It completes a holiday recording that is diverting and full of charm.

I received my rebiew copy from a publicist. This review has been published in the Holiday Gift Guide of the Jazz & Blues Report that can be downloaded at

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