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Holiday jazz CDs
✭✭ Various artists, "Christmas From the Blue Note" (Blue Note). This mixed-bag compilation too often sacrifices coherence for novelty and hipness. Self-conscious modernism subverts "Deck the Halls" by singer Kate Davis and saxophonist George Garzone. Jimmy Scott, past his best days, sings a "Silent Night" as touching as it is painfully tentative. Vibraphonist Stefon Harris ably navigates through Rich Shemaria's layered writing on "Greensleeves." A Latinate "We Three Kings" by drummer Francisco Mela is fine but Maya Azucena's gutbucket blues treatment of "O Holy Night" misses the point. "Let the rough side drag" might be the motto of this collection.
By Kirk Silsbee, Special to the Los Angeles Times
December 10, 2010