various artists
Jazz To The World




Put out by Blue Note, a division of Capitol, in 1995, this compilation of jazz Christmas tunes includes:
  1. Herb Alpert and Jeff Lorber: "Winter Wonderland" - (3:46) (Felix Bernard/Richard Smith)
  2. Dianne Reeves and Lou Rawls: "Baby, It's Cold Outside" - (3:51) (Frank Loesser)
  3. Fourplay: "It Came Upon A Midnight Clear" - (4:21) (Edmond Sears/Richard Storrs Willis/traditional)
  4. Diana Krall: "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" - (4:35) (Hugh Martin/Ralph Blane)
  5. Stanley Clarke, George Duke and Everette Harp: "O Tannenbaum" - (6:11) (Traditional)
  6. Michael Franks: "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!" - (4:17) (Sammy Cahn/Jule Styne)
  7. The Brecker Brothers with Steve Khan: "The Christmas Waltz" - (4:59) (Sammy Cahn/Jule Styne)
  8. Cassandra Wilson: "The Little Drummer Boy" - (4:36) (Katherine Davis/Henry Onorati/Harry Simeone)
  9. Herbie Hancock and Eliane Elias: "I'll Be Home For Christmas" - (2:48) (Walter Kent/Kim Gannon/Buck Ram)
  10. John McLaughlin: "O Come O Come Emmanuel" - (3:25) (Traditional)
  11. Holly Cole: "Christmas Blues" - (2:55) (Sammy Cahn/Hold)
  12. Steps Ahead: "Angels We Have Heard On High" - (5:21) (Traditional)
  13. Anita Baker: "The Christmas Song" - (4:04) (Mel Tormi/Robert Wells)
  14. Chick Corea: "What Child Is This? (Greensleeves)" - (4:13) (Traditional)
  15. Dave Koz: "Winter Wonderland" - (4:29) (Felix Bernard/Richard Smith)
  16. Dr. John: "Il Est Ne, Le Divin Enfant" - (2:59) (Traditional)


Track 10: Jim Beard - keyboards, John McLaughlin - guitar, Ben Perowsky - cymbals.

Recorded in Monaco, p. 1995.

(Review) Album review by Walter Kolosky.


This Christmas jazz album has a wide variety of generally enjoyable performances by 16 different groups. Highpoints include a funny version of "Baby, It's Cold Outside" by singers Dianne Reeves and Lou Rawls, a Herbie Hancock-Eliane Elias piano duet on "I'll Be Home for Christmas" and Holly Cole's "Christmas Blues." The other performers include Herb Alpert with Jeff Lorber, Fourplay (featuring Lee Ritenour), Diana Krall, Stanley Clarke, Michael Franks, the Brecker Brothers, Cassandra Wilson, John McLaughlin, Steps Ahead, Anita Baker (out of place but okay on "The Christmas Song"), Dave Koz and Dr. John. Although not a classic release, most of the performances are rewarding. ~Scott Yanow, All-Music Guide


Following text is taken from no longer existant webpage at http://www.jazzonln.com/jazzworld/jw04.htm

Jazz To The World, a new album featuring twenty two of the most respected and popular contemporary jazz artists in America, was released by Blue Note Records on October 10 and is available in record stores everywhere! The sixteen track album features renditions of traditional Christmas songs and winter seasonal classics.

Herb Alpert and Jeff Lorber's recording of "Winter Wonderland" was the first time they have ever recorded together.

Anita Baker's previously-unreleased cut, "The Christmas Song" was recorded live in December 1994 at President Clinton's Christmas concert at the Kennedy Center in New York.

Lou Rawls and Dianne Reeves perform together on the album singing "Baby It's Cold Outside."

Chick Corea's, "What Child Is This" is a solo acoustic piano track.

Eliane Elias and Herbie Hancock's piano duet, "I'll Be Home for Christmas" was recorded during the first session that Herbie and Eliane have ever recorded together.

The Brecker Brothers and Steve Kahn perform a Christmas song written by Steve's father, Sammy Cahn. Kahn and The Brecker Brothers perform Kahn's afro-cuban arrangement of "The Christmas Waltz," dedicated to his father. The Brecker Brothers were the 1995 Grammy Award winners in the Contemporary Jazz category. Holly Cole's "Christmas Blues" is released in the United States for the first time.

Dr. John gives us a Creole Christmas with a Ronnie Cuber arrangement featuring piano, saxophone, brass and drums with "ll est Ne Le Divin Enfant" which is a french Christmas carol.

Other artists include Stanley Clarke, George Duke, Fourplay, Michael Franks, Everette Harp, Diana Krall, John McLaughlin, Steps Ahead and Cassandra Wilson.

Proceeds from Jazz To The World benefit Special Olympics. Special Olympics provides year round sports training for children and adults with mental retardation throughout the United States and in over 140 countries. Jazz To The World is the third album of Christmas music for Special Olympics. A Very Special Christmas (1987) and A Very Special Christmas 2 (1992) are modern classics featuring artists from Tom Petty to Madonna. To date, sales of these albums have produced more than $30 million for Special Olympics worldwide.

Cover Artwork 1995 The Estate of Keith Haring
1995 Special Olympics International, Inc. & 1995 Capitol Records, Inc.

JAZZ TO THE WORLD SET FOR NATIONAL RELEASE

On October 10, Blue Note Records will release Jazz to the World (32127), a Christmas album benefitting Special Olympics. The recording features renditions of Christmas song s and winter seasonal classics in a broad range of styles spanning traditional and contemporary jazz and pop. Featured artists include Herb Alpert, Anita Baker, the Brecker Brothers, Stanley Clarke, the Holly Cole Trio, Chick Corea, George Duke, Eliane Elias, Fourplay, Michael Franks, Herbie Hancock, Everette Harp, Dr. John, Steve Kahn, Dave Koz, Diana Krall, Jeff Lorber, John McLaughlin, Lou Rawls, Dianne Reeves, Steps Ahead and Cassandra Wilson.

Jazz to the World is the first Special Olympics jazz record; the two previous releases, A Very Special Christmas and A Very Special Christmas 2, featured pop and rock musicians such as Whitney Houston and Bruce Springsteen. The record was the brainchild of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founder of the Special Olympics, and Sergeant Shriver. "I had lunch with the Shrivers, who wanted to do the first jazz Christmas record to raise money for Special Olympics," explains Bruce Lundvall, president of Blue Note Records and executive producer of Jazz to the World. He adds, "They had two enormously successful pop Christmas records on A&M, and it's an honor for Blue Note to be chosen to do the very first jazz Christmas record."

Lundvall chose Christine Martin to coordinate and produce the sixteen track recording. Martin has worked in the music industry for over two decades, with executive/associate production credits on over thirty-five recordings. Lundvall offers, "Christine has an impressive record. She has expertise with supervising recordings, and she is also well-connected within the artist community. I thought she was the best person for the job." Lundvall and Martin chose the artists, with some input from co-executive producer Bobby Shriver, who helped produced the two previous Special Olympics recordings. On their choice of artists and repertoire, Martin comments, "We contacted each artist and let them choose from a list of Christmas songs we had compiled. Bruce and I wanted the album to appeal to both traditional and contemporary jazz fans as well as audiences who wouldn't normally listen to jazz, but enjoy holiday music."

Jazz to the World opens with Herb Alpert and Jeff Lorber's "Winter Wonderland," one of two versions of this classic on the record, the other performed by Dave Koz. Martin explains, "As one of the founders of A&M records, Herb's commitment to helping Special Olympics was obvious. Bobby Shriver, who had worked with Herb on the A&M Special Olympics records, contacted Herb without knowing that Lundvall had located a previously-recorded, unreleased Koz version of the song. As improvising on a standard is the cornerstone of jazz, we thought it would be appropriate and interesting to include both interpretations." The inclusion of both cuts turns winter's ice and snow into a study of west coast cool spanning over three decades. Alpert pays homage to the undisputed King of Cool, Miles Davis, quoting from Davis' "All Blues" while saxophonist Koz explores the funky side of cool with an arrangement featuring Donn Wyatt on organ.

"Baby, It's Cold Outside" was chosen by Martin and Lundvall-paired Blue Note artists Lou and Dianne Reeves. Rawls and Reeves had never recorded together, but their chemistry in unmistakable on this classic duet. The Eliane Elias-Herbie Hancock piano duet for "I'll Be Home for Christmas" was Martin's idea. Elias, whose new record entitled Solos and Duets also features Herbie Hancock, chose and produced the song. Although the two musicians had also never performed or recorded together, they play Elias' four-hand piano arrangement like stereophonic siamese twins, with Elias recorded on the left channel and Hancock on the right.

Fourplay (Bob James, Lee Ritenour, Nathan East, Harvey Mason) was also in the process of recording an album when Martin contacted her longtime friend Bob James, who chose and arranged Fourplay's production of "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear." Martin also contacted another old friend, Mike Manieri of Steps Ahead. He suggested, "How about the one that goes 'Glo-o-o-oria!'" and went on to arrange and produce "Angels We Have Heard on High." Martin called guitarist Steve Kahn with a request for a Christmas song written by his father, Sammy Cahn. Kahn and the Brecker Brothers perform Cahn's afro-Cuban flavored arrangement of "The Christmas Waltz," which is dedicated to his father. Other instrumental tracks include John McLaughlin's "O Come, O Come Emmanuel," produced and arranged by Lipstick recording artist Jim Beard, Chick Corea's modal meditation on "What Child is This" for solo acoustic piano, and "O Tannenbaum" rendered here as a lush ballad by Stanley Clarke, George Duke and Everette Harp.

Jazz to the World also offers diverse vocal stylings in a variety of instrumental contexts. On "The Christmas Song," Anita Baker's sumptuous voice revels in an orchestral setting. This previously- unreleased cut was recorded live in December 1994 at President Clinton's Christmas concert at the Kennedy Center. On "Il Est Ne Le Divin Enfant," Dr. John serves up a Creole Christmas with a Ronnie Cuber arrangement featuring piano, saxophone, brass and drums. The song is a French Christmas carol that Martin knew from her childhood in her native France. Michael Franks' impressive backup band on "Let It Snow" includes pianist Carla Bley, drummer Danny Gottlieb and bassist Steve Swallow. Although this track was recorded in the spring, Martin recounts, "Michael was singing 'Let it snow, let it snow' and it actually was snowing in April!" GRP recording artist Diana Krall was recommended by Bobby Shriver, who had read about the singer in the Wall Street Journal. Krall produced her track, a deeply swinging "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," performed with bassist James Genus and guitarist Russell Malone. Bruce Lundvall rounded out the recording with two of Blue Note's vocal mavericks: the irreverent Holly Cole, whose sassy "Christmas Blues" was a previously-recorded cut with her trio that had never been released, and Cassandra Wilson, who performs a raw and soulful duet with percussionist Cyro Baptista of "The Little Drummer Boy."

Special Olympics began in 1963 as a summer day-camp for mentally retarded children, sponsored by Eunice Kennedy Shriver. By 1968, with the support of the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation and the American Association for Health, Physical Education and Recreation, Shriver developed the national program and held the first Special Olympics in Chicago. Since then, chapters have been established throughout the U.S. and in over 140 countries around the world. Proceeds from the Special Olympics recordings fund a wide variety of athletic programs for the mentally retarded, including the Special Olympics Mega Cities Program, which serves mentally- retarded individuals in urban areas.

Cover Artwork 1995 The Estate of Keith Haring
1995 Special Olympics International, Inc. & 1995 Capitol Records, Inc.


1995 CD Blue Note CDP 7243 8 32127-2