Tad Hendrickson

Tad’s Contributions

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May 2006    News

In Name Only? Jazz Labels Venture Outside the Genre

It’s been said a million times: Jazz just isn’t selling like it used to. That means labels of all sizes are diversifying the scope of artists they have on their rosters. While nonjazz artists on jazz labels aren’t without precedent—the Velvet Underground...

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December 2005    Holiday CD Roundup

A Jazz Guitar Christmas
Royce Campbell

This CD features a straight-up jazz-guitar trio taking on Christmas classics, featuring improvisation that goes beyond a bar or two--even a few bass and drum solos. Campbell does a good job of mixing up the arrangements, adding a bossa nova groove to "White...

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December 2005    Holiday CD Roundup

Holiday
Craig Chaquico

When your career highlight is a stint with Jefferson Starship, artistic integrity wasn't ever part of the equation. Not that artistic integrity is a requisite for making good Christmas music, but Chaquico's new-age ambient backdrops are ponderous--just like...

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December 2005    Holiday CD Roundup

Hanukkah Swings!
Kenny Ellis

Why should the Gentiles have all the fun? After all there's been plenty great Christmas albums by Jews (Diamond and Streisand anyone?). Eschewing a cantor's gravity, Ellis sings light swingin' traditionals as well as the patriotic-sounding original "Hanukkah...

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December 2005    Holiday CD Roundup

The Greatest Holiday Classics
Kenny G

The man everyone loves to hate--or love. This greatest hits collection (he's already done three Christmas albums, people) features 12 songs from Christmases past and four new tunes for this year. He's not going to give Coltrane a run for his money on "My...

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December 2005    Holiday CD Roundup

Christmas Songs
Diana Krall featuring the Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra

Krall gets a ton of help on her Christmas album from the well-drilled Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra as well as from the usual peeps in her own bands. The singer doesn't work too hard to sell it, preferring to stay in the pocket, and the solos are short...

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December 2005    Holiday CD Roundup

I'll Be Home for Christmas
The David Leonhardt Group

A straightahead small-group jazz effort with singer Nancy Reed out front, this is a solid if inoffensive effort that covers everything from the sentimental "I'll Be Home for Christmas" to the whimsical "Let It Snow" to the traditional "God Rest Ye Merry...

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December 2005    Holiday CD Roundup

Family Holidays
Gap Mangione

After performing together in the '60s, Chuck Mangione's piano-playing older brother stayed in Rochester, N.Y., while his flugelhornist sibling went on to fame. This 17-piece big-band effort is a well-drilled affair, with some reasonably lengthy turns for...

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December 2005    Holiday CD Roundup

The Season
Jane Monheit

Monheit brings a breathy innuendo to "This Christ-mas" when she purrs "This Christmas will be / A very special Christmas / For me, yeah." One wonders here what Monheit has in mind for the celebration of Christ's birth, but the Immaculate Conception isn't...

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December 2005    Holiday CD Roundup

Dig That Crazy Christmas
The Brian Setzer Orchestra

Guitarist-vocalist Setzer mixes recognizable rock and big-band licks with his own hep-cat lyrics on songs like "Hey Santa!" and "Santa Drives a Hot Rod," while also covering classics like "White Christmas" and "Jingle Bell Rock." His retro-swing thing is...

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December 2005    Holiday CD Roundup

A Holiday Wish
Jimmy Sommers

Sommers looks like he could be a stand-in for Brendan Fraser (he's done some acting on the side), dresses like Chris Botti (who makes an appearance on "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas") and sounds like a more straightforward version of David Sanborn...

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December 2005    Holiday CD Roundup

40 Years: A Charlie Brown Christmas
Various Artists

Headed up by the Peanuts' main musical voice these days, David Benoit, this CD is a tribute to the 1965 Vince Guaraldi classic with a few Christmas standards added. Featuring folks like Vanessa Williams, Dave Koz and Brian McKnight, it's no surprise that...

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December 2005    Holiday CD Roundup

Christmas Remixed 2
Various Artists

Christmas Remixed 2 features contemporary takes on holiday-music performance by the likes of Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney and Joe Williams. The most interesting tunes come from Red Baron's mash-up of the Berlin Symphony Orchestra's "Dance of the Sugar Plum...

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December 2005    Holiday CD Roundup

Happy Holidays Las Vegas
Various Artists

There is a long tradition of crappy Christmas music, and this one is as smelly as reindeer droppings. No one expects much more than schmaltz from Las Vegas, but the opening track here, featuring Lesley Gore, sounds like an ad put together by the gambling...

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December 2005    Holiday CD Roundup

Martha Stewart Living Music: Jazz for the Holidays
Various Artists

The former jailbird and queen of domesticity cherry-picks classics by Tony Bennett ("Santa Claus Is Coming to Town") and Dexter Gordon ("Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas) and some contemporary versions by Chris Botti ("Let It Snow!") and Grover Washington...

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December 2005    News

A Charlie Brown Christmas: Xmas Peanuts

Vince Guaraldi's hip soundtracks are loved by many of us who've grown up with Charlie Brown. But among the 15 Peanuts TV specials and one feature movie he scored, not to mention many imaginative non-Snoopy efforts, A Charlie Brown Christmas is Guaraldi's...

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About Tad Hendrickson

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