Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

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Album Review: Emma Pask – Season of My Heart

2 min read

Sydney jazz vocalist Emma Pask (who has collaborated extensively with renowned trumpeter James Morrison) has shaken up the idea of the modern Christmas album, with some jazzy renditions of Christmas classics.

Emma Pask - Season Of My HeartThe Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) already marks a change away from the overproduced yet sterilised band arrangements of most Christmas albums, towards an organic, warmer vibe with acoustic instruments.

The vibrant piano, bass and drum work continues on the next few tracks, but really wakes up on

Zat You Santa Claus?, which recalls the quirky theme to the classic TV cartoon ‘Pinky and the Brain’.

Pask and her band keep things tongue-in-cheek with top-tapping, hilarious takes on Mary’s Little Boy Child (on the edge of sacrilege!), The Man with the Bag/Santa Claus got stuck in my Chimney and Hitch a Ride Home. It’s remarkable how supple her voice is in rapidly navigating all of her high notes!

The versatility of Pask’s vocals is apparent on the slower tracks such as the title track, The Christmas Waltz, the Spanish-English hybrid Feliz Navidad and the gorgeous medley of Silent Night/Vincent/The Sound of Silence. Pask coos and hums effortlessly, and this combined with a stripped-back arrangement creates a soothing effect for listeners.

This is the third Christmas album I’ve reviewed in such a short period, but Season of My Heart is perfect to put on during a classy yet carefree Christmas party. With an authentic, ‘live’ feel, many of its tracks sound great for anyone to frolic and slow-dance to during this festive season.