Fools for Yule (HouseKat Recordings)

Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet

Released in 2021




Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet is back with a new CD just in time for the holidays! The vocal quartet and their supporting musicians have put their creative stamp on the timeless art of sizzling, swinging 4-part harmony vocal jazz with their original songbook recordings such as “Hustlin’ for a Gig” (2012) and their collaboration album with alto saxophonist Richie Cole (“Vocal Madness,” 2014). “Fools for Yule” dishes up a smorgasbord of brand new original holiday songs by the group’s leader, songwriter / arranger Ginny Carr Goldberg, along with UVJQ’s delightfully fresh takes on holiday classics by Vince Guaraldi, Mel Tormé, Irving Berlin and more. Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet’s celebrated songwriting, hip arrangements, joyful delivery and eclectic performance range are on full display with this very special seasonal album.

Track Listing:

1. I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm 1:37

2. Fool for Yule 2:25

3. Christmas Time is Here 1:30

4. Winter Wonderland 1:45

5. Whisper 1:35

6. L’Amour Nous Entoure Ce Soir 2:10

7. The Christmas Song 0:52

8. Santa Dear, Where’s Mine? 2:03

9. St. Ita’s Vision 1:02

10. It Doesn’t Feel Like Christmas 1:27

11. Silent Night (Traditional, arr. David Nokes) 1:20


Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet:
Ginny Carr Goldberg, Robert McBride, Holly Shockey, Lane Stowe

Frank Russo: drums

Max Murray: bass

Alan Blackman: piano

Donato Soviero: guitar

Chuck Redd: vibes

Special guest

Keith Carr: Irish bouzouki


Before you simply scroll past to say, “Oh boy, another Christmas recording,” stop. This one is different, hip and fun. If you remember the classic done by The Manhattan Transfer years ago, which you may have well memorized by now, you are ready for another one.
“I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm,” the set’s opener, will not (thankfully) conjure up Les Brown. “Fool For Yule” is entertaining, wry, and, in its way, a bit, arch. With yet another cool vibes solo. UVJQ play “Christmas Time is Here” straight, so Charlie Brown will not be scandalized. And nice solos by Alan Blackman and Max Murray to keep you paying attention, and to remind you that Vince Guaraldi wrote music you can improvise on. “Silent Night” is done on an Irish Bouzouki. The song is most emphatically not done tongue in cheek. “St. Ita’s Vision” written by Samuel Barber is completely novel, and is beautifully executed. “L’Amour Nous Entoure Ce Soir” may have something to do with Joyeaux Noel, maybe. “It Doesn’t Feel Like Christmas” is a tune that anyone over a certain age can appreciate, in its way not sad, but wiser. If there is an adult Christmas song, this is it. Did you know “Winter Wonderland” has a verse? It’s here, and a scat chorus that recalls Jon Hendricks.
“Santa Dear, Where’s Mine?” Oh, boy. Santa Baby, it’s cold outside. Worth the price of admission alone. Amahl and the Night Visitors this is not, for sure. But something for everyone here. Even “The Christmas Song” for purists.
Happy Holidays.

Richard J Salvucci (All About Jazz)