After several requests from family and friends, the Yellowjackets finally released a Christmas compact disc called "Peace Round: A Christmas Celebration.""Peace Round,"
a 10-track album, follows on the Yellowjackets' 2001 Grammy nominated recording "Mint Jam"
and their 2003 release "Time Squared." "Peace Round"
certainly presented some challenges for the contemporary jazz group, such as maintaining the original intent of the Christmas songs on the CD and making the songs personal to the listener. But founding member Russell Ferrante explained the group's solution to the challenge. "We felt we could best do this by capturing lyrical and relaxed performances," he said. "We also wanted to render the songs as directly as possible with spare use of overdubbing. Therefore, most performances are first or second takes and all but two are just the quartet live."
Despite Yellowjackets' initial concerns, what transpires is not only meaningful, but "Peace Rounds"
could be a favorite for any jazz lover who appreciates the instrumental overtones of Christmas favorites.
The only song on the album that is not as familiar to listeners is the title track, which is basically an old English canon built on an eight-measure round. The words are as this "What a goodly thing/If the children of the world/Could dwell together/In peace"
What a perfect tone to a great jazz album.