Two members of our local music community, both of them named Andy and both of them insanely accomplished and talented, teamed up to released a Christmas album this year. Andy Stokes (vocals) and Andy Warr (Saxophone) recorded 'Zat You Santa over the summer of this year and managed to create a crafty, jazz-influenced take on a number of classic holiday tunes and one show tune ("My Favorite Things").
With a sexy, jazzy feel, Warr and Stokes employ an early '90s R&B milieu to songs like "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and "This Christmas" while maintaining the ability to create more subdued sounds when they slow things down for "Silent Night." Stokes, a longtime veteran of the Oregon music scene and member of the Oregon Music Hall of Fame, has a strong voice that blends nicely with Warr's saxophone riffs that makes these two an excellent pairing.
The album, produced by Warr here in Bend, is definitely an original take on material that's seen its way around the block, but that's what makes this record stand out. And that's what makes for a solid Christmas album, because we've obviously heard all of this before. What we're looking for are new ways to express long-standing traditional favorites, and Warr and Stokes have done just that.
'Zat You, Santa
Available at zatyou.com or locally at Ranch Records.