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Hampton Avenue : All I Want For Christmas : 00  1 CD : 

Hampton Avenue : All I Want For Christmas

Review: Funky, swinging, contemporary, jazzy: this Canadian nine-member mixed ensemble is a stylistic delegation from a variety of genres. About half of the material is original, composed by Debbie Fleming, who also produced. They scat through the midsection of "Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town," trilling in the upper registers and shaking the notes, ending on a descending smear. The original, "All I Want For Christmas" (with rhythm track), has a danceable vocal bass groove, while the "Charlie Brown Christmas" segues into "Christmas Time Is Here." The sound is brilliant, with big layered backing chords, and ringing high soprano parts.

Songlist: All I Want For Christmas, I'll Miss You This Christmas, Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town, In a Manger, Charlie Brown Christmas, Glory Halleluiah, Dancing, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Talk With Santa, Angel's Lullaby, Jingle Bell Rock, Candles in the Windows, Caribbean Christmas, Night of His Birth, Carolling, Carolling

4189c | 00 1 CD | $14.95 | A Cappella Contemporary Christmas CDs

Hampton Avenue : Everybody Sing : 00  1 CD : 

Hampton Avenue : Everybody Sing

Review: Toronto-based Hampton Avenue is an eight-piece mixed group. Their warm sound lies somewhere between contemporary jazz and pop, easy on the ear, pleasant and cheerful in disposition. Musical Director, arranger and group member Debbie Fleming, who has orchestrated a recording of consistent and professional quality, write most of the songs. Highlights include the simple and uncluttered "The Gathering," one of the few slow numbers, in addition to the standard, "Here's That Rainy Day"; Hampton Avenue's musicality, and the manner in which their voices compliment each other, really blossoms on that one. Unusual harmonization distinguishes "Fixing A Hole," elevating it from a mere imitation to a memorable version in its own right. Entirely a cappella, with the exception of two cuts (which are augmented by tasteful bass and percussion).

Songlist: Everybody Sing, Make Lemonade, The Gathering, In a Mellow Tone, Baila, Here's That Rainy Day, Foodblooz, Fixing a Hole, Corner Of My Mind, Shoofly Pie And Apple Pan Dowdy, Shodioh, Dedication, Voce Etude, Let's Jive

5428c | 00 1 CD | $9.95 | A Cappella Vocal Jazz CDs

Hampton Avenue : Gift Of Harmony : 00  1 CD : 

Hampton Avenue : Gift Of Harmony

Review: Singer/songwriter Debbie Fleming, a founder of the excellent a cappella jazz group Hampton Avenue, has assembled a wealth of talent for this stunning showcase of her songwriting, singing and arranging. Merry-Anne Hutton, Tim Olfert and The ChoirGirls make guest appearances with the four current members of Hampton Avenue, and the final 3 cuts, national anthems of Canada (in 2 languages) and the United States, feature the original 10 members of the group. 14 songs: a wonderful "Big Band Medley" featuring 9 great swing covers, "Que Pasa," "Crazy In Love," "Bing Bang," "Harmony," "Cuban Night," "Great Love Story" (the wedding song of the group's Suba and Dylan), "No More Bebop," "More in Love," and "Mantra," all written by Debbie, and then a nice cover, with faux trombone, of "I'll Never Smile Again" and the 3 anthems. "A Gift" is exactly that, a smooth, sexy, jazzy romp with the kind of effortless harmonies, scat singing and lyrics that seem to flow like water from groups like Vox One, Manhattan Transfer and the Swingle Singers. Highly recommended.

Songlist: Big Band Medley, Que Pasa, Crazy In Love, Bing Bang, Harmony, Cuban Night, Great Love Story, I'll Never Smile Again, No More Bebop, More In Love, Mantra, National Anthem: Canada (complete French and English), National Anthem: U.S.A.

4516c | 00 1 CD | $14.98 | A Cappella Vocal Jazz CDs

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