The warm glow from this Christmas record will last well into the summer months. Winter Warm is a treasure from two Northwest jazz icons. Pianist Tom Grant has produced over twenty albums of chart-topping smooth jazz and singer Rebecca Kilgore, a featured regular on Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion and Terry Gross’ Fresh Air (both on NPR), is an acclaimed performer of the Great American Songbook.
Rebecca tours the world with her own band and has sung on over 30 records. Famed guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli has said of her “If Benny Goodman were alive today, he’d hire Becky to sing in his band.” Dick Hadlock, author and jazz host on KCSM-FM, San Mateo CA says that Rebecca “has refined her vocal gifts and stands now….as a leading interpreter of America’s classic popular songs.” She has toured with the famed pianist, humorist-composer Dave Frishberg and they have recorded together as well. He says of Rebecca “she has a great sense of swing…and a heartfelt unpretentiousness.”
Tom Grant has toured the world with such jazz greats as Joe Henderson, Tony Williams and Charles Lloyd. Jeff Lorber says “Tom is a terrific improviser and writer. He plays with an inventiveness, elegance and economy. He is one of the best players on the scene today.” He has recorded on Verve Forecast, Windham Hill and many smaller labels and during the 80’s and 90’s had sales of 30-50 thousand units on various titles.
Tom Grant is a fixture on the Northwest music scene. He was a pioneer of jazz fusion and adult contemporary jazz. His longtime group, the Tom Grant Band, was one of the biggest drawing bands of the ’80s and ’90s. Tom’s numerous recordings consistently landed at the top of the New Adult Contemporary and Smooth Jazz charts, a genre Tom helped pioneer in the mid-80s. Over the years he has played with numerous jazz icons, including Jim Pepper, Woody Shaw, Tony Williams and Joe Henderson. He plays jazz piano with the harmonic sophistication and deep sense of swing that comes from more than three decades on the bandstand, and his smooth crooning voice blends perfectly with Day’s clear-cut interpretations of the classics. Grant was recognized for his lifetime of work by the Jazz Society of Oregon, being its inductee to the Hall of Fame for 2004.
The material on this Holiday record reflects Rebecca’s unique gift for finding little-known song gems. The title track “Winter Warm”, is a Burt Bacharach/Hal David song whose only prior recording is by the relatively obscure 50’s artist, Gale Storm. Another great track is the singularly quirky (and jazzy) Frishberg winner, “Snowbound”. Tom and Rebecca do a charming duet on a slightly obscure Sinatra classic called “Christmas Dreaming.” Another rare beauty is “A Song for Christmas” which Rebecca sings with a tenderness that touches the soul.
2. A Song for Christmas
3. Let it Snow
4. Winter Warm
5. Winter Wonderland
6. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
7. Sleigh Ride
10. Santa Claus is Coming to Town
11. Christmastime is Here
12. I’ll Be Home for Christmas
13. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
14. The Christmas Song