This is the most exciting jazz or pop-flavored Christmas album I’ve auditioned this year. Scruggs wanted to create a musical journey thru the deeper themes of the Christmas narrative, using ancient canticles, hymns, carols and folk melodies.
The 11 pieces formulate the story of the birth of Christ in a layered chronology, all instrumental. Scruggs recruited a number of fellow musicians and they all collaborated on the arrangements and planning of the material. Every band member participated, and the result is a very meaningful work which also swings. Scruggs himself is a standout on both tenor and soprano sax, and Brian Hogans’ piano often supports the lead instruments as well as taking some solos. Brian also plays sax on some of the tracks. This independent production from Tucker, Georgia, should get more attention this holiday season.