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Album Review: The Sounding Joy
Matthew Cook
Cover image of the album The Sounding Joy by Matthew Cook
The Sounding Joy
Matthew Cook
2004 / Arianna
57 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
The Sounding Joy is a very comprehensive solo piano collection of Christmas music presented in a straightforward and accessible style that includes jazz, folk, and new age elements. The collection includes sacred and secular songs as well as some standard pop Christmas classics. Matthew Cook’s playing style is easy-going and yet sophisticated, unpretentious yet impressive. Most of this CD was released on cassette in 1992. It was remastered in 2004 and five new songs were added, bringing the selection up to twenty-three tracks. Highlights include a poignant arrangement of the “chestnut,” “The Christmas Song;” an expansive and heartfelt “O Holy Night;” an elegantly flowing “What Child Is This? “ a sweet, bluesy rendition of “Santa Baby” that is sure to bring a smile; a country-feeling “Blue Christmas;” a light-hearted arrangement of “Christmas Island” (a rare holiday song I’ve never heard before!); a graceful “The Christmas Waltz;” and a heartfelt “White Christmas.” A lot of Christmas CDs focus on the sacred or spiritual side of the holiday season and others emphasize the secular side. This one does both, and provides a warm, easy-to-listen-to compilation that will be wonderful while decorating the tree, opening gifts, enjoying a holiday meal, or just kicking back after a long day of running errands. The Sounding Joy is available from www.matthewcook.com and cdbaby.com.
September 21, 2005
This review has been tagged as:
Holiday Albums
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