Baby It’s Cold Outside
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Chris Pasin and friends — Baby It's Cold Outside
Release date : Oct. 06, 2017

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Chris Pasin is back with some new tracks for the holidays. Chris Pasin, trumpet; Patricia Dalton Fennell, vocals; Armen Donelian, piano; Ira Coleman, bass; Rich Syracuse, bass; Peter Einhorn, guitar; Jeff Siegel, drums;

Featuring:
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (iTunes)
Baby It’s Cold Outside (iTunes)
We Three Kings (iTunes)

Music Review: Chris Pasin and Friends – ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’
All About Jazz, Dan Bilawsky

Chris Pasin clearly buys into the idea that spreading holiday cheer with and for those who are near and dear is a beautiful manifestation of the Christmas spirit. For Baby It’s Cold Outside the veteran trumpeter gathered seven of his musical chums and put together a program of tried-and-true yuletide nuggets, remaining loyal enough to the templates while also juicing the mix.

Six different personnel configurations are in play across this album’s eleven tracks—everything from a Patricia Dalton Fennell-Armen Donelian voice-and-piano duo on “Greensleeves” to a swinging, horn-fronted quintet take on “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” that has a dalliance with double time—and Pasin’s mix-and-match approach for track-to-track casting helps to hold interest. A buoyant and ballsy “We Three Kings Of Orient” leads to a reverent-turned-flowing “Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel” painted with patience by Pasin and Donelian; a casual take on the title track with some role reversal and pseudo-sprechstimme exchanges between Pasin and Dalton Fennell makes its way toward an “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear” where the leader and guitarist Peter Einhorn share the spotlight; and an appropriately sentimental “Christmas Time Is Here,” complete with some space for the leader to stretch, draws a clear line to a lively “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” that replaces the song’s usual misty-eyed sentiments with joyful expressions.

Baby It’s Cold Outside sits in an appealing middle ground, neither playing toward the lowest common denominator nor coming off as a highbrow holiday happening. It boasts direct and accessible arrangements and toasts the season with style.

Music Review: Chris Pasin and Friends – ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’
Jazz History Online, Thomas Cunniffe

A veteran of the Buddy Rich and Toshiko Akiyoshi orchestras, trumpeter Chris Pasin approaches music with an accessible straight-forward style. Whether backing guest vocalist Patricia Dalton Fennell or playing an improvised solo, he presents his ideas with little artifice but great skill. The playlist on his holiday disc, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” includes many stalwarts from the standard repertoire, but the arrangements include their share of surprises. Perhaps the most notable is the title track, a vocal duet between Pasin and Fennell where the traditional roles are reversed. They turn the lyrics into an overlapping conversation, and Fennell plays the seductress with elan. As I write this review in November 2017, the headlines are full of stories about sexual harassment; the role reversal makes this version a little easier to take, but perhaps it would be best to retire this oldie, as it no longer reflects accepted social behavior. Pasin sticks to trumpet and flugelhorn for the rest of the album, offering a stunning duet on “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” with pianist Armen Donelian, an intriguing arrangement of “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear” (with fine solos by Pasin and guitarist Peter Einhorn), and a mixed meter treatment of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”. This album is an excellent addition to a holiday jazz music mix.

Music Review: Chris Pasin and Friends – ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’
Amazon, Customer Review

5.0 out of 5 stars ‘It’s that time of year’

Hailing from Chicago jazz trumpeter Chris Pasin studied at the famed New England Conservatory of Music where he majored in classical and jazz performance. In the early ‘70’s he performed at the Village Vanguard with the George Russell Big Band and also a steady six night a week gig at the Parker House with the Winiker Swing Band as well as shows at the Hyannis Melody Tent and North Shore Music Circus and various and sundry studio and commercial gigs in Boston as an in-demand trumpet player. This was followed by two years on the road with the Buddy Rich Band in the early ‘80’s, then ten years in New York City where he toured with the Toshiko Akioshi/Lew Tabackin big band internationally as well as freelancing in New York. Now, after a long hiatus from music to raise a family, Chris is as active as ever, generating recordings, performances, and assembling ensembles ranging from avant garde improvised music to R&B and pop. For the season he has created a new CD of re-imagined holiday music, BABY IT’S COLD OUTSIDE.

Though the CD is not released yet, this MP3 is available to brighten the mood. The ensemble is Chris Pasin trumpet, flugelnorn, vocals, Patricia Dalton Fennell vocals, Armen Donelian – piano, Ira Coleman – bass, and Jeff Siegel – drums.

The additional works are all well-known Holiday songs but offered in a manner that makes them very fresh. If I’LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS doesn’t melt your heart..’you’d better watch out.’ Perfect for downloading in your car to keep the season bright!

Music Review: Chris Pasin and Friends – ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’
Musicalmemoirs

I really enjoyed the jazzy rendition of “Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas” incorporating a few unusual harmonic chord changes and a warm, appealing vocal by Patricia Dalton Fennell. Chris Pasin is sturdy and improvisational on his trumpet and flugelhorn, breathing brassy life into these familiar holiday favorites. On the trio rendition of “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” Ira Coleman is stunning on his bass solo and Armen Donelian makes bold statements on piano. Throughout the entire production, Jeff Siegel keeps the time controlled and inspired on his trap drums. This is a delightful and well produced Christmas album that takes inspirational journeys outside the predictable path and heightens our listening enjoyment. Pasin decorates the production with his shiny, hard bop horn and folks like Peter Einhorn on guitar and Pasin’s trusty trio adds the sparkling tinsel, tying everything together like a jazzy holiday ornament for our ears.

Music Review: Chris Pasin and Friends – ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’
Jersey Jazz, Joe Lang

Baby It’s Cold Outside (Planet Arts – 301714) is a delightful Christmas album from trumpeter CHRIS PASIN. Pasin has enlisted a terrific group of musicians including pianist Armen Donelian, bassist Ira Coleman, drummer Jeff Siegel, bassist Rich Syracuse, guitarist Peter Einhorn and vocalist Patricia Dalton Fennell, mixed them into a variety of combinations, and they have produced an eclectic 11-song program that holds your interest no matter the combination of players. The material may be oriented toward the Christmas season, but the playing is strictly jazz, and fine jazz at that. Pasin plays both trumpet and flugelhorn with authority and imagination. His supporting players each sparkles when given solo space. Fennell is an assured vocal presence. Put it all together, and you have an album that is filled with the spirit of the season, but would sound nice at any time of the year.

Music Review: Jazz trumpeter Chris Pasin spreads warm holiday spirit with his new CD
of seasonal classics, Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Republic of Jazz

Nothing gets music lovers in a celebrating mood like listening to their favorite carols, and this brand-new CD, Baby, It’s Cold Outside, delivers a whopping dose of holiday cheer. On 11 of the most-beloved sounds of the season, trumpeter Chris Pasin and friends show they have a real gift for making such familiar material their own, while maintaining the spirit and warmth that’s such a major part of the yuletide celebrations.

Equally comfortable on both trumpet and flugelhorn, leader Chris Pasin has proved himself among the most versatile of musicians. Besides fronting his own bands, he’s been a mainstay of ensembles led by the likes of Buddy Rich, Toshiko Akiyoshi/Lew Tabackin, George Russell, and Brother Jack McDu . Pasin has also appeared with legendary gures including Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Mel Torme and Ray Charles, to name a few.

For Baby, It’s Cold Outside, Pasin has assembled a stellar ensemble of some of the most in-demand musicians on the New York jazz scene. Among them: pianist Armen Donelian (Sonny Rollins, Chet Baker, Paquito D’Rivera); bassists Ira Coleman (Freddie Hubbard, Betty Carter, Herbie Hancock) and Rich Syracuse (Mose Allison, Bernard Purdy, Kurt Elling); drummer Je Siegel (Ron Carter, Jack DeJohnette, Sheila Jordan); singer Patricia Dalton Fennell (Dave Holland, Giacomo Gates, Pete Levin); and guitarist Peter Einhorn (Joe Lovano, Placido Domingo, Jim Hall).

“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”: Here’s a subtle, sensitive and understated version of a classic that steers clear of the overly sentimental, right from Donelian’s heart-felt piano opener. “We Three Kings”: Uptempo and bursting with energy, the band brings great drive and brilliant feeling to this beloved carol, which features an excellent solo from leader Pasin. “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”: Check out the sexy and playful collaboration between Pasin and vocalist Patricia Dalton Fennell. The twosome demonstrate their wit and camaraderie as they work their seductive skills on the lyrics. “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”: A very welcome new take on a traditional tune turns it into a cooker; the great rhythmic drive makes it downright danceable. “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”: Pasin and Einhorn shine on solos in this unique treatment of a 1940s-vintage hit.

Pasin and friends’ fresh take on the greatest songs of the season celebrate the beloved classics in an original and vastly appealing style. Listeners will enjoy old favorites in a new way this holiday season, thanks to the great renditions performed by this talented and creative ensemble.

Music Review: Chris Pasin and Friends – ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’
Jazz Quad, Leonid Auskern

“Winter is near!” – this motto of the Stark family of George Martin’s famous saga was remembered to me at the first glance at the cover of the album Baby It’s Cold Outside and comparing it with the scenery outside the window where the golden autumn is still forming its palette of colors. But the second, more attentive look made me appreciate the fabulous charm of the winter landscape pictured in the photo and remember that winter is not only fierce cold (“Baby, it’s cold outside” – the name of the album and the standard of the same name), but also the beauty, warmth and solemnity of Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

Christmas albums, as I have often already noted, is a special genre, a special specialization. They invariably appear in large numbers every year on the eve of Christmas, sometimes, as in this case – well before the winter (Baby It’s Cold Outside is published on October 6). And working on such projects are real professionals, in this case – jazz.

Trumpeter Chris Pasin played with his own bands, as well as in the ensembles of Buddy Rich, Akioshi-Tabakin, George Russell, accompanied by such vocalists as Sinatra, Bennett, Ray Charles. So, his dialogue with the vocalist Patricia Dalton Fenell was verified to the smallest detail. Fenell is also far from a beginner, she, for example, collaborated with Dave Holland and Pete Levin. Among the main characters of the album I will mention another well-known pianist Armen Donelian, among whose partners there were stars of the first magnitude – Rollins, Chet Baker, Paquito D’Rivera, and Armen himself rightfully belongs to the same list.

The program of the album Pasin and his friends-partners composed of the most famous Christmas songs, as those carols, which have long been considered by the category of traditional and author’s compositions. The vocalist of the ensemble has a strong and beautiful voice, and I especially appreciated his virtues in the wonderful medieval English song Greensleeves, which Patricia sings to the accompaniment of Donelian’s piano, but it is the chimney (sometimes flugelhorn) Chris Pasin’s pipe (in some cases – the flugelhorn) that gives the Christmas warmth and softness to the sound of the group Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel or I’ll be Home for Christmas. With some surprise I was convinced that Christmas songs in jazz interpretation can be not only melancholic ballads, but also quite tempo compositions, like We Three Kings of Orient Are. In general, the album is able to please any jazz fan, and any family that, having gathered at a festive table on Christmas night, will include this music.

Music Review: Chris Pasin warm brilliant holiday cheer Chris Pasin – BABY, IT’S COLD OUTSIDE
Rotcod Zzaj

It’s been a while since I gave trumpeter/flugelhorn player Chris my “PICK” in issue # 158, and now he’s put together a seasonal album that stands out nicely as one of the most cheerful I’ve heard in many years (for those who have been reading us for a while, you’ll know already that I seldom review holiday albums). It doesn’t hit the streets until October 6th, 2017, so you’ll only find the title track, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside“, posted for listening (& pre-sale) right now… but, that’s more than enough to let you know how HIP this coming holiday season is going to be… some great dialogue between Chris and vocalist Patricia Dalton Fennell that will put you in the mood for the festivities!

If jazz is the way you’d prefer to spend all your holidays, you’ll totally dig Chris’s upbeat rendition of the classic carol, “We Three Kings”… believe it or not, this one will have you up & dancin’ ’round the tree – all I can say for this splendid performance is – “HOT”!

You’ll have no worries about being “bogged down” with too much tradition when you listen to my personal favorite of the eleven tracks offered up for your yuletide jazz enjoyment… “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” like you’ve never heard it before will ring your bells and have you playing the track over & over again! I give Chris and his high-talent players (Armen Donelian – piano; Ira Coleman – bass; Jeff Siegel – drums; Rich Syracuse – bass; Peter Einhorn – guitar; Patricia Dalton Fennell – vocal) my MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.99 for this most joyful holiday jam! Get more information about this fascinating player and his great album on Chris’s website.

Music Review: Chris Pasin and Friends – ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’
(Jazz Global Beat)

From subtle to sexy to swinging, Chris Pasin and friends shine a brilliant light on the best yuletide favorites

Nothing gets music lovers in a celebrating mood like listening to their favorite carols, and this brand-new CD, Baby, It’s Cold Outside, delivers a whopping dose of holiday cheer. On 11 of the most-beloved sounds of the season, trumpeter Chris Pasin and friends show they have a real gift for making such familiar material their own, while maintaining the spirit and warmth that’s such a major part of the yuletide celebrations.

Equally comfortable on both trumpet and flugelhorn, leader Chris Pasin has proved himself among the most versatile of musicians. Besides fronting his own bands, he’s been a mainstay of ensembles led by the likes of Buddy Rich, Toshiko Akiyoshi/Lew Tabackin, George Russell, and Brother Jack McDu . Pasin has also appeared with legendary gures including Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Mel Torme and Ray Charles, to name a few.

For Baby, It’s Cold Outside, Pasin has assembled a stellar ensemble of some of the most in-demand musicians on the New York jazz scene. Among them: pianist Armen Donelian (Sonny Rollins, Chet Baker, Paquito D’Rivera); bassists Ira Coleman (Freddie Hubbard, Betty Carter, Herbie Hancock) and Rich Syracuse (Mose Allison, Bernard Purdy, Kurt Elling); drummer Je Siegel (Ron Carter, Jack DeJohnette, Sheila Jordan); singer Patricia Dalton Fennell (Dave Holland, Giacomo Gates, Pete Levin); and guitarist Peter Einhorn (Joe Lovano, Placido Domingo, Jim Hall).

Pasin and friends’ fresh take on the greatest songs of the season celebrate the beloved classics in an original and vastly appealing style. Listeners will enjoy old favorites in a new way this holiday season, thanks to the great renditions performed by this talented and creative ensemble.

Music Review: Chris Pasin and Friends – ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’
(Midwest Record)

Patricia Fennell has got such a Diana Krall vibe going that any advertisers upset they can no longer hire Patti Wicks when they want a Krall doubler should look Fennell up. In fact this sounds so much like the kind of Christmas record Krall would make if she didn’t have to deal with the commercial pressures a major label will put on you that real jazzbos will find this a natch. In fact, all the jazzbos on board here are cats that stand behind and to the side of the greats making them sound great so you have the added bonus of cats that know what they are doing pushing the boundaries of creativity without ever getting precious about it. It’s 92 degrees in Chicago today so it’s not too early to start thinking Christmas thoughts. Uh,…hot stuff throughout.

Music Review: Chris Pasin and Friends – ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’
(Gonzo Weekly)

So, in July I get sent a Christmas jazz record that isn’t actually going to be available until October. That’s okay by me though, as in December it will be warm as it’s our summer in the Southern Hemisphere and when I was sent this we had already had six inches of snow so was quite appropriate! Now, Chris recorded his debut CD as long ago as 1987 but he is probably best known for working with others in the live environment, spending a few years with Buddy Rich as the jazz trumpet soloist as well as performing with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Mel Torme, Sarah Vaughn, Nancy Wilson, and Ray Charles. For this album he has brought in Patricia Dalton Fennell (vocals), Armen Donelian (piano), Ira Coleman (bass), Rich Syracuse (bass), Peter Einhorn (guitar) and Jeff Siegel (drums).

It is a mixture of instrumentals, led mostly by Chris’ pure clear trumpet, and some with vocals and is a combination of well-known Christmas standards, all given a melodic arrangement to make them into something a little different to the norm.

The highlight for me is the title cut, which has been turned into a two-way conversation between Patricia and Chris — I have heard many different versions of this song over the years, but this has to be the only one that oozes sex. Patricia often proves her vocal skills on other numbers, but here her spoken voice is like warm velvet and combined with the muted trumpet in the background and the laid-back feel of the arrangment makes this something quite extraordinary. Overall this is a beautifully conceived and performed album that is easy to listen to and totally enjoyable from start to end.

5.0 out of 5 stars. Music Review: Chris Pasin and Friends – ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’
(Susan Frances)

Christmas novelties treated with a traditional smooth jazz flare make Baby It’s Cold Outside from trumpet/flugelhorn player Chris Pasin a keepsake. Reworking numbers like “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” and “We Three Kings of Orient Are” with well-placed toots of the trumpet along the familiar motifs give the tracks a modish veneer without diminishing their iconic luster. The samba-infused rhythm of bassist Rich Sycamore and drummer Jeff Siegel driving “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” gives the number a catchy beat brimming with spicy agility. The recording turns mellow and reflective as vocalist Patricia Dalton Fennell adds a lullaby gleam to “Greensleeves.”

The smooth jazz coutours of Pasin’s horn embroiders elegant spirals along “Christmas Time Is Here,” embellishing Peter Einhorn’s laid-back guitar riffs coasting languidly along the track with sprinting notes. The tune has a hammock swinging lure, which switches to a boppish bounce through “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” clad with a lively spirit. The lounging atmosphere of “The Christmas Song” is gilded in Armen Donellan’s sparking piano keys kindling a torchlight shimmer, and transitions to a shuffling gait along “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.” The soaring notes of Pasin’s horn opening “Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel” are striking and hold the listener in rapt attention.

Pasin’s cover of Yuletide favorites coated in the smooth jazz/classic swing palette captures the essence of Christmas traditions on Baby It’s Cold Outside. Pasin’s renderings of nostalgic Christmas tunes tweaks these sing-along minstrels in jazz-embossed tooling without diluting their iconic sweetness.