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Santa's Got a Brand New Bag

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Album Review

Flügelhornist Dmitri Matheny's Christmas jazz album mostly features his regular group (with Kenny Brooks on tenor and soprano, guitarist Brad Buethe, pianist Darrell Grant, bassist Ruth Davies, and drummer Jason Lewis), although various numbers also feature the French horn of Mark Taylor; Rob Burger on accordion; and vocals by Paula West, Clairdee, and Brenda Boykins (who is a bit annoying on "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch"). Other than the latter piece, the performances all work quite well. Highlights include happy versions of such songs as "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town," "Winter Wonderland," and "Let It Snow." The closing "The Christmas Song" is taken as a brief, unaccompanied flügelhorn solo. A recommended acquisition for one's Christmas jazz collection.


Born: 1966 in Nashville, TN

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Dmitri Matheny has had a dual career, as a soft-toned and tasteful flugelhornist who often emphasizes melodic ballads, and as an executive and talent scout for the Monarch label. Raised in Tucson, Arizona, Matheny was inspired to take up the trumpet when he was five after his father played him Miles Davis' Kind Of Blue. Although he was technically trained on the trumpet, Matheny preferred its mellower side and eventually switched exclusively to flugelhorn. He attended Interlochen Arts Academy and...
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Santa's Got a Brand New Bag, Dmitri Matheny
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