Carol Banks Weber
This is no ordinary, flighty holiday album, but a thoughtful exploration of a Scriptural Christmas. Will Scruggs is an Atlanta-based saxophonist who turned in a reverential, two-part jazz program, as realized through the passages of the Bible’s New Testament and the heralding of the Christ child. His father is a reverend, which explains the eulogies in musical form.
Released on October 25, 2012, Song Of Simeon: A Christmas Journey combines fine jazz with fine gospel, letting the music interpret the message of a broader sense of Christianity, one that does not limit based on restrictions, but embraces in the scope of love for everyone. The Examiner gave the album five stars in a December 10, 2013 review: “Christmas music is one of the few luxuries worth taking a break for. Not many Christmas albums fulfill the spirit’s need for rest and sense of completion. This one will. It’s the best kind of Christmas service, where every Biblical verse with every jazz note contains so much meaning — held in the breaths and the pauses taken and refrained. Every so often, an Afro-Cuban beat will send up a surprised Hallelujah!” The album has since been heralded in the Wall Street Journal, NPR’s “A Blog Supreme,” and XM Radio.