Christmas

JGM Pick of the Week: December 21, 2020

“Silent Night”HamiltonesFrom the Young Vintage CDA Hamiltone Christmas (release date: November 30, 2017)www.watchtheton3s.com By Robert M. Marovich Although labeled a soul and R&B group, the Hamiltones of North Carolina sound for all the world like a gospel quartet on “Silent Night.” From converting the song’s 6/8 time signature to 12/8 to the shouting vocals, gritty guitar work, adlibbing, and crackling vinyl intro, this is old school quartet, I don’t care what anybody says. Then again, the Grammy-nominated trio has been featured on albums by Anthony Hamilton, PJ Morton, Jonathan McReynolds, and Tori Kelly, so there’s that. Released in 2017, the ...

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JGM Music Hour – Christmas 2020 Mixtape

Christmas 2020 Playlist Do you believe – PJ Morton feat. Yolanda Adams What Christmas means to me – Michelle David & the Gospel Sessions Joy to the world – Robert E. Person Jesus what a wonderful child – Rhyme & Reason feat. April Hall Oh come all ye faithful – Parkes Stewart Born to die – Angela Moss Poole Holiday love – Erica Mason, Emcee N.I.C.E. & Spechouse He’s not a baby anymore – Angelo & Veronica Have yourself a merry little Christmas – Titus Showers My favorite things – Glodean and Linda Messiah (Christ was born) – Joseph Robinson ...

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Michelle David & the Gospel Sessions: It’s a Soulful Christmas

Michelle David & the Gospel SessionsIt’s a Soulful Christmas(release date: November 27, 2020)http://michelledavidandthegospelsessions.com By Robert M. Marovich Holland’s Michelle David & the Gospel Sessions lend their stripped-down small-combo Sixties soul stylings to new and classic Christmas songs on It’s a Soulful Christmas. Looking a little like a Columbia Records release from the Sixties, the album art telegraphs the retro sounds within. David channels the coquettish soprano of Diana Ross throughout the project, most especially on the nearly note-for-note cover of Stevie Wonder’s quintessentially Motown “What Christmas Means to Me.” While the perky single “This Christmas (I’ll Be By Your Side)” ...

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“Jesus What a Wonderful Child” – Rhyme & Reason feat. April Hall

“Jesus What A Wonderful Child” Rhyme & Reason feat. April Hall From the Enon Music Group album A Reasonable Gift (release date: November 20, 2020) By Robert M. Marovich It does my heart good to know that the Angelic Gospel Singers’ “Glory, Glory to the New Born King,” once the most popular Christmas carol in the African-American community, is still being sung more than 70 years since its release. The production team of Josh Lay and Morgan Turner, known as Rhyme & Reason, covers it under its alternate title, “Jesus What a Wonderful Child.” Powerhouse singer April Hall gives the ...

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“Do You Believe” – PJ Morton feat. Yolanda Adams

“Do You Believe” PJ Morton feat. Yolanda Adams From the Morton Records CD Christmas with PJ Morton – Deluxe Edition (release date: November 20, 2020) By Robert M. Marovich Some songs sound as if you’ve heard them your whole life. “Do You Believe” is one of them. PJ Morton’s Christmas song has a buoyancy that is evocative of Donny Hathaway. Effervescent singing by Morton and Adams makes it sizzle. This is the version for others to emulate. Why it is not included among the holiday songs currently on pop radio’s Yuletide rotation is anyone’s guess. “Do You Believe” can be ...

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JGM Pick of the Week: December 7, 2020

“Born to Die” Angela Moss Poole 141st Lane Media (release date: 2014) www.AngelaMossPoole.com By Robert M. Marovich Not the Glenn Burleigh cantata, this “Born to Die” is a song written and performed by Dr. Angela Moss Poole of Miami, Florida. A bittersweet ballad, “Born to Die” reminds us of the real reason we celebrate Christmas. Poole sets the song on that “special night” in Bethlehem, but she also references Christ’s ultimate sacrifice at the cross as the true gift that keeps on giving. An exceptional production and arrangement, coupled with Poole’s lithe soprano reading, sell this holiday treat, a re-release ...

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“Jesus What a Wonderful Child” – Richard Davis

“Jesus What a Wonderful Child” Richard Davis From the R2D Music CD Christmas Rhapsody (release date: November 29, 2019) www.r2dmusic.com By Bob Marovich Richard Davis gives the Angelic Gospel Singers’ “Glory, Glory to the New Born King” a contemporary quartet-style makeover, complete with male background vocalists, a vamp, and enough blue notes and traditional turns to complement the robust rhythm section that carries the song along. It’s nice to hear this carol, for decades the most beloved Christmas song in the African American church community, get some attention in 2019. In addition to operating his R2D Studios, Davis is director ...

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Jonathan Butler – Christmas Together

Jonathan Butler Christmas Together Artistry Music / Mack Avenue Music Group (release date: October 4, 2019) www.mackavenue.com By Bob Marovich Christmas Together is the second holiday-themed album for singer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Butler, one that he recorded and mixed in his home studio in Southern California. Whenever the album isn’t offering up dreamy instrumental arrangements of classic Christmas carols by some of smooth jazz’s best-known musicians, it is evoking the soulfulness of Stevie Wonder. You hear Wonder’s frictionless resonance in Butler’s lead vocals on “Winter Wonderland” (no pun intended) and “Oh Come, Oh Come Emmanuel.” “Mary Did You Know,” ...

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