"For anyone who adores great singing and first-class piano for the holidays, Garnett & Beverly's Christmas is to be cherished. It is simple, yet profound. Absolutely gorgeous!
Christmas is even more special this year with Garnett & Beverly's new holiday release. Garnett Hundley and Beverly Daugherty are two women of faith and two powerful vocalists; here, they join with master pianist Rob Cook for a jazzy, new-age gem that is charming in construction and execution.
Garnett and Beverly both possess outstanding pipes, but the liner notes and the artists' Web site do not specify who-sings-what. I discovered the appropriate attribution for these excellent numbers only after checking directly with the artists themselves. Garnett's vocal range is huge (she can actually sing soprano, alto AND tenor!) and reflects surprising versatility.
Beverly also sings with exceptional richness and texture. Together, these two ladies are terrific, creating an offering that is excellent (albeit too short at under 37 minutes) for the holidays.
The album opens grandly with the "O Come" medley, a blend of "O Come, All Ye Faithful" and "O Come, O Come Emmanuel." The first carol belongs to Garnett, who opens with an a cappella crystalline call before adding layers of heavenly harmony. As her voice recedes, Cook's extraordinary piano takes center stage, playing over the vocal layers to establish "O Come, O Come Emmanuel." On this second carol, Garnett begins to sing again, but this time the women trade verses, ending with exquisite harmonies that float above Cook's delicate piano stylings. The effect is breathtaking, and the number's overall intricacies make it one of the finest holiday medleys I have ever heard!
This Christmas album is consistently glorious. The second track is Thad Jones' inspirational "A Child Is Born," the always wonderful "Coventry Carol" is especially winning here, Cook cleverly creates a piano drum on the bouncing "Little Drummer Boy," and Garnett's "Mary Did You Know?" is an emotive delight. My favorite piece, however, has to be the outstanding "In the Bleak Midwinter with Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming" combination; Garnett presents the first carol a cappella before Beverly transitions into the second carol over Cook's fine piano playing. The two traditional numbers are blended perfectly as the two women ultimately harmonize together. Just amazing!
It is important to point out that Rob Cook is more than just sterling accompaniment for the women's vocals here. His piano truly is a strong, third voice, expressive and impressive in its own right. He also presents two instrumentals on the album--"It Came Upon a Midnight Clear" and "I Wonder as I Wander," dynamic pieces overflowing with jazzy character.
The closing "Silent Night" caps off the endeavor with beauty and class.
Garnett's pure vocals lead the way, clean and tender, before Beverly's superb harmonies blossom. As always, Cook's capable piano framework only enriches the picture, providing a sophisticated interlude before Garnett picks up the melody once again."
More about: www.garnettandbeverly.com
From the liner notes:
Garnett Hundley: Lead, Backup Vocals
Beverly Daugherty: Lead, Backup Vocals/Tibetan Bell Solo Rob Cook: Piano
All arrangements by Rob Cook except "In the Bleak Midwinter with Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming," music and arrangement by Kirby Shaw, text by C.
Rossetti, T. Baker
From the Web site:
When Garnett and Beverly first began collaborating five years ago, they each brought 20 years experience as solo artists to the stage. But it's together that they've created the remarkable sound and energy that is at once so powerful and inspirational. Based in Seattle, their global music ministry has taken them around the United States, to Mexico, South America and soon to Egypt. They've performed with such well-known speakers as Dr. Wayne Dyer, Gary Zukov, Don Miguel Ruiz, Rev. Dr. Kathianne Lewis and Reverend Mary Manin Morrissey.
Garnett and Beverly are currently performing at the Center for Spiritual Living in Seattle, Unity of Bellevue, and other local Seattle churches.
Check the performance calendar for a location near you.
Check out the artist's website:
1. O Come All Ye Faithful ~ O Come, O Come Emmanuel
2. A Child is Born
3. Coventry Carol
4. Little Drummer Boy
5. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
6. Mary, Did You Know?
7. O Holy Night
8. In the Bleak Midwinter with Lo, How A Rose E'er Blooming
9. I Wonder As I Wander
10. We Three Kings
11. Silent Night