BABY IT'S COLD OUTSIDE
As a blues lover it is a treat to review a CD like Maureen Washington's Baby It's Cold Outside. There aren't a lot blues Christmas albums out there, although Stony Plain's Christmas Blues remains my favourite album of the season. Now this effort might not quite match up to the Stony Plain compilation of blues seasonal songs, but it is at least in the same vein.
Washington starts out with a nice bluesy effort on Merry Christmas Baby, a song where the blues beat is clearly evident, carrying the song to something special.
However, on other cuts, such as Winter Wonderland, Washington gives a pretty much straight forward rendition of the familiar Christmas tune. Now that isn't bad since Washington has a pleasant, almost happy voice, one which shines nicely on songs like Sleigh Ride.
As a blues/jazz musician I liked Washington's effort at giving the seasonal favourites a bit more of a blues treatment. As an example is the jazzy sound of the CD's title cut, and the choice of The Christmas Song and I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas, which are pretty much jazz numbers anyway. In so doing she created a CD that is more unique than many.
The best cut here is Snow, a song Washingston has a co-writing credit on. This is a song with definite jazzy blues instrumentation, and since its original, it catches the ear. Well done.
As it is, this CD is simply a nice Christmas album. One you can fully enjoy, but not likely one that will become truly memorable.
You can check out Washington at www.maureenwashington.ca
-- CALVIN DANIELS
-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Dec. 19, 2007 - Yorkton, SK. Canada