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Tidings of Comfort and Joy: A Jazz Piano Trio Christmas by Skafish



Syncopate! Percolate! Deck-The-Halls-With-Boughs-of-Hollyate! Put aside the holiday caroling this year and groove up to Christmas jazz in a free-and-easy soulful sound that’s smooth, sprightly and utterly surprising to the senses.


Tidings of Comfort and Joy, A Jazz Piano Trio Christmas is a collection of thirteen of your favorite yuletide classics as you’ve never heard them before - ear-pleasing and ear-perking treats packed together like an assortment of gifts in an overstuffed Christmas stocking…a sound of cheerful familiarity, a dynamic trio of piano, bass and drums arranged and delivered to your ears in uplifting, spirited, innovative ways…a masterful conversion of traditional harmonies into effervescent pieces ranging from swing to progressive fusion…the sound of your favorites that are also pure jazz and purely, singularly unique.


Early reviews from first listeners of this CD have brought back comments like amazing… sheer greatness…deserves a long standing ovation…absolute standout…gives me chills…comforts as it thrills…transcendent sounds.


Who other than Jim Skafish could deliver these amazing sounds to you? In February 1976, he appeared in the public limelight as a burst of genius punctuating the musical scene. Acknowledged as the sole originator and Godfather of Chicago’s punk, new wave, alternative and indie rock movements, Skafish was the first Chicago artist of these genres to perform at CBGB’s in New York in April 1977; The Whiskey A Go Go in Los Angeles in February 1978; and to appearin London before an audience of 45,000 with The Police, UB-40 and Squeeze in July 1980. He has also toured and/or performed with the likes of: Ramones, Iggy Pop, The Police, U-2, The Stranglers, Squeeze, Ultravox, Scorpions, UB-40, The Cramps, The Mumps, XTC, The Lemonheads and Dead Boys.


All who experienced Skafish agree that this pioneering innovator’s sound was unlike anything they had previously heard. Billy Cox of PolyGram Records told Skafish, "I believe you started alternative music worldwide." Both the performer and his music were like a bolt of lightning that suddenly materialized as if from another dimension. A phenomenon had arrived and it bore a name: Skafish!


Now it’s Skafish returned, at Christmas time, and the motif is jazz no alien territory to his vast range and repertoire. Regarded as a child prodigy and musical genius by his blind piano teacher at age six, Skafishs earliest compositions were instrumental jazz. In high school he formed the Jim Skafish Group a jazz trio while also studying with international jazz legend Willie Pickens at Chicago’s American Conservatory.


As his improvisational skills on the piano grew exponentially over the years some of the musical greats who commented on his talent included jazz legend Stan Kenton who called him "a genius" after hearing one of his original rock song demo tapes; to blues master Willie Dixon who referred to Skafish as "the best musician I know;" to the peerless Muddy Waters who was quoted in a 1981 UPI news story as saying "When Jim Skafish walks into the room I could swear it was Mick Jagger."


Skafish was a pioneer perhaps decades ahead of his time and recognized by the greats of jazz and rock as a musical giant. In 1983 he turned to his virtuoso as a pianist and improvising on-the-spot jazz arrangements of Christmas carols evoked an overwhelming response among all who heard and witnessed this feat.


Now Skafish’s multidimensional talent turns to Christmas jazz again in an album just in time for the holidays.


Jazz aficionados have marveled at his skill and artistry as he takes simple traditional holiday melodies and transforms them through altered harmonies unique rhythmical structures and stylized improvisations into one-of-a-kind new and bonafide jazz compositions.


You will never hear renditions the likes of We Three Kings Fusion; God Rest Ye Merry Gents; Hark! The Herald Angels Sing; O Come O Come Emmanuel; or the remaining nine enduring Christmas classics brought to you in this incomparable album. Skafish has arranged and delivered these treats especially for you for your listening rapture. Christmas will never be the same again!


Move over Santa here comes Skafish!


Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Skafish
  • CD Title: Tidings of Comfort and Joy: A Jazz Piano Trio Christmas
  • Year Released: 2006
  • Genre: Holiday Jazz
  • Record Label: La Befana Records
  • Tracks: 1. Joy to the World, 2. Deck the Halls, 3. The First Noel, 4. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear, 5. Silent Night, 6. Hark the Herald Angels Sing, 7. O Come O Come Emmanuel, 8. What Child is This?, 9. Angels We Have Heard on High, 10. Away in a Manger, 11. We Three Kings Fusion, 12. God Rest Ye Merry Gents, 13. Jingle Bells
  • Musicians: Skafish (Piano), Lawrence Kohut (Bass), Tom Hipskind (Drums)
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