By Melanie Lee
JAZZY CHRISTMAS IN THE AIR
Published on 22 November 2017
Undoubtedly, the recent rainy weather has brought the cool Christmas vibes in early this year. If you’re already humming along to your favourite Christmas oldies sung by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and Ella Fitzgerald, you’d be pleased to know that jazz maestro Jeremy Monteiro is putting together a snazzy mix of swing, blues, bebop and modern jazz this Christmas, together with his jazz squad Joanna Dong, Melissa Tham, Miz Dee Longwood, Steve Lippia, Aaron James Lee, CC Lee, John Koh, Albert Marsico, and Tony Lakatos.
Let these local jazz darlings from “Jazzy Christmas – A Kaleidoscopic Christmas” tell you more about what a jazzy Christmas means to them:
Christmas is a time for us to heighten our awareness of love for our families, friends and humanity in general. ‘The Christmas Song’ is my favourite carol with such a lilting melody and gorgeous harmonies that immediately puts you in this kind of mood. In fact, many great Christmas songs are influenced by jazz e.g. ‘White Christmas’ and ‘Let It Snow’. These days, jazz can also be heard at coffee places and shopping malls throughout the year, so actually, jazz is a recurring soundtrack of our lives regardless of season.
“Even though Christmas has devolved into an over-commercialised consumer trap, I still buy into the warm and fuzzy feelings associated with this season. I love Christmas music (especially ‘The Christmas Song’ too) and many magical music moments have been made during this season – from carolling with my a cappella group ‘ngam’ to putting up a cheeky Christmas jazz revue called ‘Naughty, Noor, Nice’. Every year presents an opportunity for classic carols to be reinterpreted for a fresh take – this is precisely what jazz musicians do best at!”
“As a vocalist, lyrics have special meaning and many Christmas songs have plenty of beautiful lyrics. I grew up listening to Nat King Cole, and his rendition of ‘The Christmas Song’ is one of my favourite songs. It brings back childhood memories of holing up at home with my Dad’s hi-fi system. It also reminds me that Christmas is a time to catch up with family and loved ones, as well as to appreciate and celebrate what we have.”