PEGGY DUQUESNEL presents her latest recording, “All I Ask for Christmas,” a double album with 21 tracks separated into an instrumental disc and a vocal disc. The project features several popular Christmas standards along with four of Peggy’s original Christmas songs. It highlights her fluid piano improvisations and inviting vocals with a trio that includes Brian Bromberg on bass and Joe La Barbera on drums. Extra finesse is added by Brian Kilgore on percussion, Rick Braun on flugelhorn and Jay Leach on guitar. Vocalist Bill Cantos is featured on three duets as well as introducing vocalist Emma Werderman, who joins Peggy on Mary Did You Know. Duquesnel’s jazzy / pop arrangements and songwriting capture her eclectic jazz background and warm personality. Pianist and vocalist Peggy Duquesnel will release “All I Ask for Christmas” on November 5th, a double-disc set comprised of instrumental and vocal renditions of holiday standards and spirited originals.
Press Reviews: “Peggy's latest musical offering is a beautiful double disc of holiday music. Each song is an incredible jazzed up re-interpretation of some of your favorite holiday music and of course there are a few of Peggy's originals that will keep you interested in her long after the holidays are over simply because of her lovely vocals and impeccable pianos skills.”
- Sounds of Timeless Jazz (Dec 12, 2013)
“Peggy Duquesnel creates a Christmas Classic! Duquesnel has a relaxed, easy style, both vocally and instrumentally, creating a distinctive musical voice.”
- - Sander Roscoe Wolff, Long Beach Post (Dec 09, 2013)
“Sometimes you should not wait until Christmas to give gifts to yourself or others. "All I Ask for Christmas" is an ideal present for the quick deciders.”
- Hans-Bernd Hulsmann, Smooth Jazz Daily (Nov 13, 2013)
“Throughout, Peggy's backed by a star quartet - Brian Bromberg (bass) Joe La Barbera (drums), Jay Leach (guitar) and Brian Kilgore (percussion) and between them they offer versions of tunes like 'Little Drummer Boy', 'Silent Night' and 'O Christmas Tree' in a style that mixes the classic Christmas sounds of the 50s with the flavour of contemporary acoustic jazz.”
- Bill B, Soul and Jazz and Funk (Nov 11, 2013)
“Peggy transforms many of our beloved Christmas carols into seriously bopping and strolling jazz numbers sprinkled with a healthy amount of country influence.”
“Each track has its own appealing twist – like “What Child Is This?” resembling “Take Five.”
- Ronald Jackson, Smooth Jazz Ride (Oct 28, 2013)
“An elegant and sophisticated riff on Christmas favorites and inspired originals! Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com”
- Brent Black, Critical Jazz (Oct 23, 2013)
“I can spend hours looking for the perfect holiday music and what I love most is instrumental. My choice this year is Peggy Duquesnel’s "All I Ask For Christmas."All twelve instrumentals on this disc are amazing. This is not the traditional playings of "Little Drummer Boy" or "Hark The Herald Angels Sing," Duquesnel has taken the traditional into the present with jazziness and swing, yet she has managed to keep the familiar within the music, so as to bring the song to a newer and more interesting level. Disc Two: Is where Peggy lets loose with her beautiful vocal style. Track four is the beautiful "Silent Night." "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" is done in a whimsical, jazzy style with Peggy’s vocals really matching up wonderfully. So many great songs on this two disc cd set for everyone to enjoy. I have found my new favorite for this holiday season.”
- Dana Arentzen, Smooth Jazz Magazine (Dec 01, 2014)
"A Charlie Brown Christmas," featuring the Vince Guaraldi Trio is one of the true standouts, yet few subsequent releases have mined the jazz territory explored on that album. Jazz singer-keyboardist and composer Peggy Duquesnel has just issued the wonderful "All I Ask for christmas," an ambitious two-disc album that captures the magic of that beloved vintage release as well as the melancholy of some of that era's golden recordings.
- - Robert Kinsler, The Desert Star (Dec 18, 2013)
“This two-disc instrumental jazz and jazz vocal release from California’s Peggy Duquesnel is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Duquesnel definitely puts her own signature on the songs found here, including timeless pieces like “Little Drummer Boy,” “O Christmas Tree,” “Silent Night,” and “What Child Is This?” This disc can provide the perfect soundtrack to any holiday cocktail party.The second disc showcases Duquesnel’s vocal prowess along with assists from two other fine singers, Bill Cantos and Emma Werderman makes this part of the collection a nice counterpoint to the first. Other guest artists performing on this collection include legendary jazz bassist Brian Bromberg as well as contemporary Jazz giant Rick Braun on the flugelhorn. All I Ask for Christmas is a title that needs to find its way into many a Christmas stocking this December 25th.”
- - Sean Hickey, Daily Local News (Nov 26, 2013)
“Ms. Duquesnel is clearly an avid student of the history of jazz. She lets on right at the beginning of this recording as she launches into a magnificent vamp from Miles Davis “All Blues” to introduce an utterly beautiful version of “Little Drummer Boy.” That Ms. Duquesnel is a fine pianist goes without saying. Her soli are exceptionally controlled and elegant and superbly crafted as if she were creating a great baroque edifice. The African-Cuban version of “O Christmas Tree” is almost too delicious to enjoy.”
“When Duquesnel adds some sugar and spice with her delightful voice added to her fine pianism, the effect is quite amazing! Who knew that there would be a performer who would give Diana Krall and Patricia Barber a run for their money?”
“Ms. Duquesnel’s version of “What Child is This” written in the almost identical quintuple (5/4) time that Paul Desmond wrote the classic “Take Five” But that is where the similarity ends? Not quite, as Joe La Barbera’s solo almost follows Joe Morello’s solo note for note in an extraordinary tribute to one of the most famous and inventive quartets in the history of jazz.”
“One of the most outstanding Christmas albums is most certainly the double album produced by pianist and vocalist Peggy Duquesnel. All I Ask for Christmas (JoySpring Music) features a whole CD of instrumental versions of traditional Christmas carols and songs. But there are also four originals by the pianist, “All I Ask for Christmas,” “Christmas is Here” “Under The Christmas Tree” and the spiritually inclined “Light of Christmas”.”
- Raul de Gama, World Music Report (Dec 21, 2013)
Long Beach, Calif. (October 2013): There is always a bit of an uproar when Santa and the elves debate over music preferences while toiling away in their North Pole workshop preparing for the big night. Some prefer swinging to straight-ahead jazz instrumentals while others prefer contemporary vocal numbers. Multidimensional pianist and vocalist Peggy Duquesnel’s “All I Ask for Christmas” is certain to satisfy everyone with her generous 21-song collection that will be released November 5th by Joyspring Music. Duquesnel produced the two-CD set - one acoustic jazz instrumental disc and one vocal disc - offering fresh arrangements of seasonal standards along with four new songs that she composed and recorded as both instrumental and vocal selections. The entire album will be serviced to jazz radio stations while smooth jazz outlets will be gifted with the single, “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” featuring genre star Rick Braun’s regal flugelhorn.
Duquesnel is having a prolific year. In April, she released “Seems Like I Know You,” a five-song EP that she produced with noted contemporary jazz musicians Jeff Lorber and Jimmy Haslip (Yellowjackets) on which she exercised her fitness as an adult contemporary singer-songwriter while engaging her light jazz muscles. The instrumental portion of “All I Ask for Christmas” is a return to the classically-trained pianist’s roots in straight-ahead jazz presented with elements of adult pop, contemporary jazz and inspirational material on this, her seventh full-length outing. Backed by a crackling quartet – Grammy-nominated bassist Brian Bromberg on upright, drummer Joe La Barbera (Bill Evans, Tony Bennett, Bill Cunliffe), percussionist Brian Kilgore (Barbra Streisand, John Williams, Elton John, Coldplay, Aerosmith) and guitarist Jay Leach (“American Idol,” Barry Manilow, Gladys Knight) – Duquesnel’s arrangements are influenced by storied artists from yesteryear (George & Ira Gershwin, Horace Silver, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra) along with a dose of contemporary acoustic jazz (Dave Grusin, Bob James, Miles Davis).
On the vocal disc, Duquesnel sings and scats three duets with debonair vocalist Bill Cantos: the bebop title track penned by Duquesnel; the aptly titled “Breath of Heaven (Mary’s Song),” which was written and recorded by Amy Grant; and another new Duquesnel gem, “Under the Christmas Tree,” a romantic country gospel waltz adorned with Leach’s pedal steel guitar. Talented newcomer Emma Werderman impresses with a vocal full of moxie during a duet with her mentor (Duquesnel) on the stunning “Mary Did You Know” further illumined by Duquesnel’s piano eloquence. Duquesnel’s glowing jazzer “Light of Christmas” and the waltz-like “Christmas is Here” are new songs written with warmth, familiarity and timeless qualities that have the potential to become enduring evergreens.
“The album concept is to take familiar Christmas songs and put them with unique arrangements that have a jazz influence, but that are all accessible to a broad audience. In the process of making the album, I decided to do instrumental versions of the vocal songs. I am both a vocalist and an instrumentalist and enjoy playing these songs just as much instrumentally as vocally. For the listener, having both versions makes a lot of sense because they set two entirely different moods,” said Duquesnel, who invites you into the studio to observe the making of the album by watching the EPK Video http://youtu.be/cSApuhPMt8o