December: The Christmas Collection
is a gorgeous, sophisticated collection of sixteen piano solos arranged and performed by Robin Meloy Goldsby and one composed and performed by her daughter, Julia. Robin got her start playing in piano rooms in New York City and has been performing regularly in castles in Germany (where she and her family live) for close to twenty years. She has written several books that tell the trials and tribulations of the life of a musician - her own as well as fictional characters. Her playing style is always fluid and graceful whether playing jazz, standards, pop tunes, or her own compositions. December includes three of her own pieces in addition to her daughter’s debut and cover versions of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” and Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel.” This album will be a real joy for those looking for a quiet, peaceful album of Christmas music that is worthy of full listening attention as well as a beautiful backdrop for holiday activities. They don’t get any better than this!
begins with “Greensleeves,” a piece almost as old as Christmas itself. Goldsby’s arrangement is true to the original, but has a very contemporary feeling to it - a lovely beginning! “Do You Hear What I Hear?” is tender and delicate, emphasizing the gentle tone of the melody. Goldsby’s “Silent Night” is exquisite and so very peaceful. Vince Guaraldi’s “Christmas Time Is Here” has become a favorite over the years and Goldsby’s take is a graceful, dreamy waltz - love it! Thad Jones’ “A Child Is Born” is another soulful beauty played with tenderness and love. Goldsby has slowed “Carol of the Bells” to an elegant swirling motion that works beautifully. The title track is a bittersweet ballad that seems to reflect on the passing of another year and the onset of winter. “Winter Sea” sparkles with a crystalline chill as the rolling motion of the waves keeps the sea from freezing. “Close to Midnight” is a very promising piece from Julia Meloy Goldsby. A bit darker than the other pieces on the album, her touch is expressive and confident. Looking forward to hearing more from her! “We Three Kings” works with a lot of different musical styles, and Goldsby’s arrangement is flowing and classic - gorgeous! I’ve never thought of Cohen’s “Hallelujah” as a Christmas song, but it’s one of my favorites and makes a haunting and very effective closing to this wonderful album.
Give your ears, heart and soul a Christmas treat with December. It is available from goldsby.de
, Amazon, and iTunes. Very highly recommended!