Airborne is a multicultural contemporary jazz group from New Haven, Connecticut, who have been together since the 1980s. The members are Thomas Borino (piano/keyboards/vocals), Thomas Sansone (sax/flute/vocals), Greg Borino (guitar/vocals), David Ramsey (drums), Donnell Roberts (bass), Asher Delerme (percussion), and Randy Bost (trumpet).
There is also a wonderful female vocalist on Christmas Holiday Music, who is unfortunately not identified on the band’s website.
The music is not available as a physical CD, but only as MP3s or streaming audio. You can buy it at Amazon, CD Baby, and iTunes, but the group has also made it free to listen to at AirPlay Direct.
The members of Airborne consider themselves to be the “musical peacemakers” of contemporary jazz, according to their website, and certainly this musical project is peaceful and joyful. There is nothing particularly innovative about the arrangements, but they are pleasant and will continue to bring pleasure for many repeated plays.
A standout among the songs is “Every Year At Christmas Time,” which has a slightly urban feel and is sung soulfully by the anonymous female vocalist, and which benefits from the sax provided by Thomas Sansone, who also provides the lovely flute for “I Wander as I Wander.” Other standouts are “Christmas Time Is Here,” which for most listeners will evoke the Peanuts gang, and “The Christmas Song,” which will make listeners feel warm and fuzzy.
“O Holy Night,” a beautiful but difficult song to sing, is also a highlight here, with that gorgeous high note near the end that is sure to send a thrill through you time and again.
Overall, this is a classy Christmas offering which will remind you of the great jazz singers of the recent past, such as Nat King Cole, Lena Horne, and Johnny Mathis. Certainly, it will make a welcome gift for yourself if you add the streaming audio or the MP3s to your playlist.