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Music Review: Chris Standring & Kathrin Shorr – Send Me Some Snow

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If you are tired of traditional Christmas albums or artists trying to be creative with well-known Christmas songs, then Send Me Some Snow by Chris Standring and Kathrin Shorr just may be an album for you.

Chris Sandring is an English guitarist who has released a series of jazz albums beginning with 1998’s Velvet. He is known for his crisp and clear notes and virtuosity on both an electric and acoustic guitar. Kathrin Shorr can best be described as a folk/pop vocalist who released The Seed during 2004. She possesses a clear and soulful voice. They met at a party several years ago and when Standring decided to create a Christmas album, he called upon Shorr to provide the vocals.

They have surrounded themselves with a number of able instrumentalists to support his guitar and keyboards. Bassist Larry Steen and drummer Dave Karasony both played on Standring’s 2010 Billboard Magazine’s Number One Contemporary Jazz Track Of The Year, “Bossa Blue.” Other contributing artists are bassist Dan Lutz, pianist Mitchel Forman, and multi-instrumentalist Dino Soldo. They also added a four-piece string quartet to some of the tracks, which gives them a fuller sound.

It is to Standring’s credit that he decided to eschew the usual type of Christmas album. He found an able partner to bring his musical vision to life as they co-wrote all 10 of the tracks together. The songs travel the gamut from light jazz to an old style that would have been right at home in the 1940s or 1950s.

The title track has a jazz feel to it and includes a light-hearted vocal. It twists the desire for a white Christmas upside down. “Someone’s Gonna Get Something (For Christmas)” tells the tale of a woman hoping for a proposal on Christmas day. “I’ve Got A Thing For Jack” (as in Jack Frost), is a fun-filled jazz-tinged romp.

“Dear Santa” is a unique song about the lonliness of Mrs. Claus on Christmas. “Mistletoe Moon” travels in a big band/swing direction, while “There’s No Time Like Christmas Time” is an optimistic look at the season.

Chris Standring and Kathrin Shorr have stepped outside the norm for their new album. It is a unique look at the Christmas season that should be enjoyed for years to come.

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