Christmas With Champian (Champian Records)

Champian Fulton

Released in 2017

DownBeat Four-Stars Review




Pianist-Vocalist Champian Fulton’s long awaited release, “Christmas with Champian” is being touted as the best new Jazz Christmas album of the year. With her personal song selection, listeners are invited to sit back and celebrate the season with Champian as she swings her way through this charming program of her favorites. Worth noting is Champian’s beautiful rendition of the Los Panchos & Eydie Gormé hit, “Gracias a Dios”, a selection inspired by her Mexican heritage; also listen for her original song “Merry Merry Christmas”, written as a gift to her fans. “Christmas with Champian” spotlights veteran Jazz royalty David Williams on bass and Fukushi Tainaka on drums, who performed for over 30 years with Cedar Walton and Lou Donaldson respectively; and features Clark Terry protegé (and Champian’s father) Stephen Fulton on trumpet and flugelhorn on a stunning rendition of “Christmas Time Is Here.” A perfect balance of Christmas spirit and Jazz sensibility, “Christmas with Champian” is guaranteed to make your season bright.

Track Listing:

1. White Christmas (Irving Berlin) 03:40

2. Pretty Paper (Willie Nelson) 03:34

3. I’ll Be Home for Christmas (Kim Gannon / Walter Kent / Buck Ram) 03:41

4. Winter Wonderland (Felix Bernard / Dick Smith) 04:13

5. Gracias a Dios (Alfredo Gil) 06:27

6. The Christmas Song (Mel Tormé / Bob Wells) 05:05

7. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (Ralph Blane / Hugh Martin) 04:17

8. Christmas Time Is Here (Vince Guaraldi / Lee Mendelson) 06:00

9. The Christmas Waltz (Sammy Kahn / Jule Styne) 04:33

10. Sleigh Ride (Leroy Anderson) 04:28

11. A Child Is Born (Thad Jones) 05:21

12. Let It Snow (Sammy Kahn / Jule Styne) 03:32

13. Merry Merry Christmas (Champian Fulton) 04:36


Champian Fulton: piano, vocals

David Williams: bass

Fukushi Tainaka: drums

Stephen Fulton: trumpet (4, 5, 8, 10, 12)

Recorded March 27, 2017, at Systems Two Recording Studio, Brooklyn, NY


As evidenced by her performances on the aforementioned Jazz at the Ballroom album, holiday genialness comes naturally to Champian Fulton. Her album Christmas With Champian finds her dispelling the deadening familiarity of dry evergreens like “Let It Snow,” allowing listeners to hear a shopworn lyric and melody as if for the first time. Her attractive singing voice and piano playing fit well with David Williams’ bass and Fukushi Tainaka’s drums. She enjoys a familial bond by having her father, trumpet/ flugelhorn player Steve Fulton, contribute to five tracks. On Fulton’s original vocal number “Merry Merry Christmas,” the only accompaniment is her expressive piano work.

Frank-John Hadley (DownBeat)