Kenny Lattimore | A Kenny Lattimore Christmas

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

kenny-lattimore-a-kenny-lattimore-christmas

Kenny Lattimore | A Kenny Lattimore Christmas
by Peggy Oliver

There are a lot of hit-making R&B vocalists who can effortlessly deliver the soulful goods. Yet when it comes to performing a holiday project that stretches across several genres, there are fewer who can successful step out of their comfort zone. Though his calling card is registered in smooth R&B ballads (“Never Too Busy”, “If I Lose My Woman”) and albums registering on the Top #25 Billboard R&B Charts since 1996, Kenny Lattimore sounds equally confident whether the musical mood may dictate; traditional jazz, gospel or world music. After witnessing this classically trained tenor in a recent live setting exhibiting his versatility, especially with an on-point operatic aria, it makes perfect sense that Lattimore could record a Christmas CD with many of the colorful trimmings, sans the sometimes tempting move towards cheesiness. From the sharp looking tuxedo worn by Lattimore on the album cover, to the first rate musicianship and stellar production from Aaron Lindsey, A Kenny Lattimore Christmas drips class personified no matter what the genre and, without hesitation, is one of the finest holiday recordings of the year.

Balancing the tried and true with the new, Lattimore’s wholehearted approach transforms each piece with a fresh perspective. The tone is immediately set with several trademark catchy R&B grooves. “Real Love This Christmas” relates to the natural emotions of leaving the hard working life to relax during the holiday season, while “Everybody Love Somebody” points out that real love should go beyond ourselves: “We’re often busy just doing life.”

“Home for the Holidays” (not the original version) is engrossed in a welcome acapella interlude where the harmonies bounce off each other. Lattimore also takes a risk, yet a favorable one, on “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”, that weaves a smooth jazz/gospel vibe. In further demonstrating his musicality on A Kenny Lattimore Christmas, Lattimore’s rendition of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” upholds the spirit of this holiday classic, accompanied by a traditional jazz trio. “O Holy Night” is a resounding classically flavored performance and the soft orchestrations of “The Christmas Song” meshes Lattimore’s rich vocals with a tender acoustic guitar solo.

The praise and worship portion of A Kenny Lattimore Christmas does not disappoint, either. “Reason to Celebrate” echoes festive African beats and melodies, and remains engaging on all counts for most of its seven plus minutes, while “We Want to See You” is packed with powerful and poignant worship pleas: “I’m forever changed, past has been erased.” In essence, the blips on A Kenny Lattimore Christmas are very minor and do not seriously impede the project as a whole. Just simply enjoy Lattimore’s vocal excellence that provides all the needed ingredients that stir the holidays in a much needed positive direction. Four and three-quarter stars out of five.

Peggy Oliver
The Urban Music Scene

MORE Music Reviews on T.U.M.S.!:

K-Ci Hailey | Jesus Saves
Paulette McWilliams Digs Deep Into Introspection On Career-Best Project, "A Woman's Story"
Ricky Dillard | Choirmaster
Kelly Rowland | Coffee
Boney James | Solid
Keyboardist Jason Miles Big-Ups Black Icons with Black Magic
Sophisticated Soul Singer Will Downing Salutes Baritone Vocal Classics On Romantique Part 2
Second Outing from Corea McBride & Blade Finds Trio as Virtuous and Versatile as Ever
Fantasia | Sketchbook
Raphael Saadiq | Jimmy Lee
Poncho Sanchez | Trane's Delight
Jéssica Pina | Essência
Legends The Mighty O'Jays Bow Out with Soulful Sense of Purpose
Kirk Franklin | LONG LIVE LOVE
Amazing Grace: Aretha Brings The Mountaintop Down to South Central L.A.
New Orleans Offers Up A Sassy Blue Angel
Chaka Khan | Hello Happiness
The Return of The Undisputed Truth is a Sonic Blast From The Past
Shanice: The 'S' is for Steamy on No Sleep new single "He Won't"
London Jones | For You
John Legend | A Legendary Christmas
Will Downing | The Promise
Rhythm Tribe Introduces New Style, Acid Latin, With Return Single "You Can't Take Me Down"
Bob James Drops First Trio CD As A Leader in Over a Decade
Gabrielle | Under My Skin
Charlie Wilson and The O'Jays' Polar Extremes of Soul
Ramsey Lewis, Tower of Power, Anthony Hamilton and More Help Playboy Jazz Festival Turn 40.
Piano Wonder Joey Alexander's Third Outing Proves He's On The Path to Mastery
MeShell Pretzels and Dives Beneath The Surface of `80s & `90s Soul Hits
En Vogue | Electric Café
Sade | "Flower of the Universe" (From Disney's 'A Wrinkle In Time')
Peabo Bryson LIVE at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley - Seattle, Washington | March 2nd, 2018
Walter Beasley - The Best of Walter Beasley | The Affable Years, Volume 1
Sy Smith | Sometimes a Rose Will Grow in Concrete
Dr. Lonnie Smith | All in My Mind
Soul Man Owens' Country Cash Project Pays Off Some of the Time

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Hide