Album Review of
Fools for Yule

Written by Joe Ross
December 3, 2021 - 11:48pm EST
Review Rating Star Review Rating Star Review Rating Star Review Rating Star Review Rating Star

On a delightful album that celebrates the spirit of seasonal music and joy, the Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet does a wonderful job singing an eclectic mixture of traditional, contemporary, and original material.  Their enthralling music provides just the cure for a hectic holiday season. The Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet is Ginny Carr Goldberg, Robert McBride, Holly Shockey and Lane Stowe. Goldberg also wears hats of composer and arranger for many of the songs, as well as playing piano on “St. Ita’s Vision,” a song written by Samuel Barber and arranged by Robert McBride.  Every holiday album should have some Christmas carols with new, fresh arrangements, and the UVJQ certainly doesn’t disappoint with their closing rendition of “Silent Night,” arranged by David Nokes.  The stellar accompanying musicians include Frank Russo (drums), Max Murray (bass), Alan Blackman (piano), Donato Soviero (guitar), Chuck Redd (vibes), and Keith Carr (Irish bouzouki on “Silent Night”).

A very pleasant aural journey, Fools for Yule includes some beautiful presentations of jazzy fare that we never tire of like their a cappella offering of “The Christmas Song,” as well as faves like a sublime “Christmas Time is Here,” rollicking “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm,” and breezy “Winter Wonderland” (with McBride featured on guitar). While there’s a certain comfort that stems from familiar holiday classics, it’s original material like “Fools for Yule,” “Whisper,” “Santa Dear, Where’s Mine?” and “It Doesn’t Feel Like Christmas” that take this album to a new level. Goldberg’s “L’Amour Nous Entour e Ce Soir” (Love Around Us Tonight) is a Latin-styled tune sung in French.        

Fools for Yule  is a very hip, jazzy experience that captures the magic of the season. A joyful way to start a holiday party, or to reflect on one as a fire’s embers start to glow after a lively gathering, this CD’s splendid music is a seasonal gift that all will enjoy.  The album is dedicated to the jazz quartet’s friend and colleague, André Enceneat (1963 – 2020). (Joe Ross, Roots Music Report)