WELCOME TO THE SMOOTH JAZZ RIDE! * WELCOME TO THE SMOOTH JAZZ RIDE! * WELCOME TO THE SMOOTH JAZZ RIDE!

Kyle Pederson – 12.25

Nov. 2, 2011

As that most wonderful time of the year rapidly approaches, I am often inundated with requests to review Christmas albums, a practice I employ very, very judiciously. In fact, unless the project bears a certain element of unique interpretation, I tend to pass on such reviews. That being said, there are some albums that warrant your attention.  Pianist Kyle Pederson has released one such album called 12.25, a solo piano effort that captures the spirit of the season simply yet in a very refreshingly unique manner, with improvisation and well-conceived runs and passages in a classical vein.

You get more here than just a Christmas carol.  I found his versions of “O Come O Come Emmanuel,” “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” “Infant Holy,” “Do You Hear What I Hear?,” and “Gabriel’s Message,” especially appealing. Soothing, sweet, serene, reflective, and so befitting the season that will shortly be upon us; a season that always seems to bring out the best in us all, even if it’s just a warm smile from a passerby.

All in all, if you enjoy quality classical piano, and if you enjoy the Christmas classics (and who doesn’t?), you should find Pederson’s holiday project quite palatable. Even if you’re not a classical music fan, this one may just raise your eyebrow in acknowledgement, if only for the season. -  Ronald Jackson