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Duke Pearson – Merry Ole Soul (2021 24/96 FLAC)

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Duke Pearson - Merry Ole Soul (2021 24/96 FLAC)

Duke Pearson – Merry Ole Soul (2021 24/96 FLAC)

Artist: Duke Pearson
Album: Merry Ole Soul
Release/Reissue: 2021
Genre: Contemporary Jazz

A1. Sleigh Ride
A2. Little Drummer Boy
A3. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
A4. Jingle Bells
B1. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
B2. Go Tell It On The Mountain
B3. Wassail Song
B4. Silent Night
B5. O Little Town Of Bethlehem

This is one of the better Christmas themed jazz albums and as such deserves wider recognition. Pearson’s arrangements are creative and Arto Moreira’s percussion work keeps things jingling and jangling for that festive touch. Sleigh Ride, the jaunty opener, has been featured in compilations and is thus the best know track. It’s a pretty relaxed piece where Pearson and Moreira trade licks based around the central theme. It’s followed by a thorough and at times almost avant-garde deconstruction of The Little Drummer Boy. Other highlights include the seldom covered Wassail Song and a very brief but moving rendition of Little Town of Bethlehem.

Bass – Bob Cranshaw
Drums – Mickey Roker
Percussion – Airto Moreira
Piano, Celesta [Celeste] – Duke Pearson