Simon Mulligan – Christmas At Steinway Hall (2017)

Simon Mulligan - Christmas At Steinway Hall (2017)
Artist: Simon Mulligan
Album: Christmas At Steinway Hall
Genre: Bop, Piano Jazz
Origin: UK
Released: 2017
Quality: mp3, 320 kbps
Tracklist:
Baby, It’s Cold Outside (3:20)
The Christmas Song (5:26)
Winter Wonderland (4:29)
O Holy Night (5:19)
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing (4:49)
The First Noel (4:27)
I Saw Three Ships (4:47)
While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks (5:38)
Away In A Manger (5:17)
O Little Town Of Bethlehem (3:24)
I’ll Be Home For Christmas (5:19)
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (3:04)
Silent Night (4:28)

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The U.S. Steinway & Sons label has made a strong impact with albums by performers who evoke the concert atmosphere of a hundred years ago: the era, as it happens, when the Steinway piano was supreme. British pianist Simon Mulligan does this, but not with quite the same classical repertoire as other pianists on the label. Mulligan has played both classical music and jazz, but here he offers a kind of salon music that has improvised elements, but for the most part is not jazz. (The exception is the upbeat I’ll Be Home for Christmas.) The music consists entirely of Christmas or holiday-season tunes, but even such a chestnut as Winter Wonderland is fresh, a bit meditative in Mulligan’s hands. Steinway’s engineers have made great strides forward in showcasing their home hall at its best, and the mood struck by the sound design here is deep. For a classy soundtrack to your Christmas gathering you couldn’t do better than this, but there’s more to Mulligan’s album than simply background music.
Review by James Manheim