"A HOT HOLIDAY with the Original Wildcat Jass Band"
Sooner or later every musical artist or group that has been around any length of time and has recorded much of their work entertains the notion of producing a Christmas album. The repertoire available for such an undertaking is extremely limited. There are the ancient carols, the sacred songs, the World War II inspired ballads, a few novelty tunes and some holiday standards written decades ago. Virtually every Christmas album from Bing to Bublé covers the same material. There is nothing wrong with this, actually, because one generally listens to these recordings only once a year.
The Original Wildcat Jass Band of Tucson, Arizona's premier classic jazz ensemble, extant for ten years now, entertained the notion of a Christmas album. Since such an album is usually a one-time project and the material would doubtfully ever be preformed in a live context, the decision was made to think outside the "gift box" - to not just make a six-piece jazz band recording of Christmas tunes, rather to take advantage of the group's impressive array of talents and the technological options afforded by modern, state-of-the-art audio recording.
Yes, you will hear the Original Wildcat Jass Band playing their usual instruments: Rick Peron on trumpet, Marco Rosano on clarinet, Rob Boone on trombone, Rob Wright on banjo, Kelly Thomas on tuba and Ray Templin on drums. You will also hear Marco on accordion and bass saxophone, Boonie on piano, Rob on guitar and ukulele and Ray's panoply of percussion, including tin cans.
Yes, the tunes you expect are here, too. Just don't expect to hear the standard treatments of these holiday favorites. After all, when recording in the triple digit heat of the Sonoran Desert, should one expect anything less than "A Hot Holiday" with the Original Wildcat Jass Band? So toss another log on the air conditioner, sit back and enjoy the OWJB's musical holiday gift to you. Ho, Ho, Ho.
Ray Templin, Tucson, Arizona 2013