Christmas Music - Smooth Jazz

Christmas Album Release Party

Review by "Prez Patty"

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Holiday Bash in Huntington Beach

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It is that time of year for great parties with great friends, but Greg Vail and Rob Mullins may have thrown the ultimate bash of the season on Saturday, December 16th. With so much to celebrate, it might have been hard to miss, anyway.

The crowd on the 16th was a sea of familiar faces. Special friends and die-hard fans, some coming from as far away as San Francisco, were in attendance to celebrate the release of Greg’s new Christmas CD, “Christmas, The Hymns”. If you haven’t heard it yet, stop reading this now, click back, and order it immediately! It is an awesome blend of traditional and smooth jazz renderings of the joyous songs we know so well. With less than two weeks to pull it all together, Greg and Rob have presented us with an amazingly rich musical palette. Of course, they are both gifted musicians and accomplished composer/arrangers, but neither will deny that this CD may have had a bit of divine inspiration or intervention in its production. It is a special gift to all of us – and should be to everyone you know, too!

Kikuya in Huntington Beach was the perfect choice of venue as the Restaurant and Jazz Club has finally re-opened after being dark for six long months. Kikuya’s persistent and dedicated manager, Lisa, treated her guests to the same fine food they have always expected and Bobby poured drinks that were, sometimes, even better than expected. Rob now has a new piano to play; one that doesn’t make his hands hurt. So, he should no longer get grumpy around 11:30, as he brings his band back to keep Kikuya hopping every Saturday night through the winter. Rob has also installed a great new sound system, so if you think they sounded good before, well. . . In re-opening the restaurant and bringing Rob and Greg back for regular Saturday night performances, Lisa has reestablished Kikuya as one of the South Coast’s premier nightspots. WELCOME BACK, LISA.

Back to the party -- The club was nearly full well before the band arrived. The “regulars” greeted each other from across the room and hugs were being distributed in profusion. Many had been at Spaghettini the night before, but just couldn’t get enough, so came back for more on Saturday. Greg made sure that there were plenty of the new CDs available and many folks bought 2 and 3 copies before they had even heard him play any selections from it. When, in the first set, he played ‘Joy to the World’ and ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’, back-to-back, there was hardly a dry eye in the place. Even those who bought CDs at the start bought more to give as gifts. (If I’ve spoiled any surprises in revealing this, I apologize. . .) I need to mention, at this point, that the only thing missing was that Greg’s son Ben was not able to join them that night. It is Ben Vail, rather that Greg, who provides the alto sax foundation to their version of ‘We Three Kings’, Ben being, of course the “third king”! When you order your CD, (have you clicked back, yet?) ask if Ben will autograph it for you. Can you imagine what a John Coltrane – Age 11 autograph would be worth today? It could become part of your retirement account. . .

In addition to Rob and Greg, Andre’ Berry was there with his powerful bass vibes and Lamont Peoples never missed a beat. Now, this is not unusual for Lamont, being the master that he is, but considering he was operating with very little sleep in the previous 48 hours, it was an effort of tremendous proportion. No, he had not been partying or shopping ‘til he dropped, he had been ushering in his new baby daughter, Kayla, born at 3:00 that morning! Just another reason for celebration. Congratulations to the proud parents, and WELCOME KAYLA, to a wonderful life!

As the night wore on, the band played their customary favorites ‘uh-Huh’ and ‘Newport Attitude’, to everyone’s obvious delight. Since Greg’s mom, Barbara, was in the house that night, it was also mandatory they play her favorite, ‘Europa’. The audience can never stay seated during or after that one! Though she may be biased, Barbara’s not the only one who thinks Greg is better than Kenny G ! ! ! Those who stayed late enough were also treated to a beautifully sweet rendition of Bill Withers’ ‘Just the Two of Us’. In all, it was one of the hottest shows of the year and a “good time was had by all”.

If you missed the party, don’t feel too badly. You can catch Greg most any Friday night at Spaghettini in Seal Beach or Kikuya in Huntington Beach on Saturdays. Check back to this website frequently for times and dates. In the meantime, may you rejoice in the blessings of the season, now and throughout the New Year.

And so, to our friends and fans, old and new, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Joyous Kwanzaa, and Salud!


- Fan Club President: Patty Tucker

Page and Site Area Updated NOVEMBER 6th, 2008


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    Instrumental Christmas CD by Jazz Saxophone Player, Jazz Flute Player Greg Vail. Christian jazz Christmas music, favorite Christmas Carols, instrumental Christmas music, Christmas party music, Saxophone, Flute, Christmas favorites, Instrumental Saxophone Player's Christmas Music CD.