The Thanksgiving/Christmas holiday season is one of my favorite (music) times of the year. For years I have collected holiday jazz albums (CDs) and have heard some of the worst and some of the greatest. But you only get to hear them once a year, so I try to gobble them down during the 30 days that they are played.
Seasoning by jazz pianist Gary Motley, is among the best I've heard. I have personally heard Gary play in many different settings from jazz vespers to choral/band performances. When Gary plays, he and the piano become one, his heart and soul emanate through the keys and strings of his instrument like plumes of incense. He can play music that makes you want to jump out of your seat and hit the dance floor or present ballads so sweetly that they make you want to reach for the tissue box. Join that together with songbird Veronica Motley and you have Seasoning, the perfect blend of the warmth and coziness of a fireplace on a winter's night...the way a holiday CD should be.
Seasoning features original compositions, including the title track written by Gary & Veronica, as well as unique arrangements of classic holiday favorites. Veronica's vocals on "I'll Be Home For Christmas", "Seasoning", "Mood Indigo", "The Christmas Waltz" and "All That I Am" glide across the tunes with the grace of a professional ice skater lightly touching down on the ice. Gary Motley's touch on the piano keys on the instrumental tracks gives you the audio/visual storytelling of a ballet dancer. Mix the two together along with Atlanta's top professional musicians and educators and you have a musically fresh and superbly produced holiday CD. With Moffett Morris on bass, Justin Chesarek, drums & percussion, Gordon Vernick, trumpet, Sam Skelton, saxophone, Kathleen Bertrand, additional vocals and Dan Baraszu on guitar, Seasoning is the perfect blend of the right ingredients. Enjoy and Happy Holidays with Seasoning.
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