Kirk Whalum and Kortland Whalum give a Christmas sound

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    (December 1, 2021) Christmas is a family holiday because family is central to the celebration. It is, after all, the celebration of a birth. The inability for so many people to be around family members - or the risk assumed by those who decided to gather - made last Christmas so difficult, and gathering as a family (hopefully) this year will definitely give Christmas 2021 a deeper significance.

    Saxophonist Kirk Whalum brings members of his large musical family close to him for How Does Christmas Sound?, his new Christmas themed project and his first holiday record since he dropped the Grammy nominated The Christmas Message in 2001. In a sense, Christmas sounds like family for Whalum. The saxophonist works with his brother Kevin Whalum and his son, bassist Kyle Whalum, while nephew, actor and singer Kortland Whalum, gives the title track that is featured in this First Listen a touch of musical theater.

    (December 1, 2021) Christmas is a family holiday because family is central to the celebration. It is, after all, the celebration of a birth. The inability for so many people to be around family members - or the risk assumed by those who decided to gather - made last Christmas so difficult, and gathering as a family (hopefully) this year will definitely give Christmas 2021 a deeper significance.

    Saxophonist Kirk Whalum brings members of his large musical family close to him for How Does Christmas Sound?, his new Christmas themed project and his first holiday record since he dropped the Grammy nominated The Christmas Message in 2001. In a sense, Christmas sounds like family for Whalum. The saxophonist works with his brother Kevin Whalum and his son, bassist Kyle Whalum, while nephew, actor and singer Kortland Whalum, gives the title track that is featured in this First Listen a touch of musical theater.

    Whalum said the tune’s title reflects the that the sounds of the holiday evoke in him the emotions conjured by the sights and smells evoke of the holiday. And a point that was driven home last year is that absence of the sound of familiar voices can make Christmas a melancholy season. That voice can be absent for reasons ranging from a painful breakup, job duties, pandemics or in some cases, the passing away of a family member or friend.

    The mid-tempo track finds Kortland Whalum expressing the struggle that those experiencing those losses undergo to connect with the holiday’s deeper significance and perhaps even a deeper love and reverence for Christmas.

    “How Does Christmas Sound?” is one of two original songs penned by Kirk Whalum on this project that features his unique and innovative interpretations of well-known and not so well-known Christmas songs. There will be a lot of Christmas projects hitting shelves and streaming services over the next few weeks. It’s going to take a lot for a project to stand out from the crowd, and Whalum does that with How Does Christmas Sound? Check out the title track here.

    By Howard Dukes

    Kirk Whalum feat. Kortland Whalum
    “How Does Christmas Sound”

     
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