The Season is vocalist Natasha Miller's first album of holiday music. Recorded live at Yoshi's in Oakland, CA, with additional studio tracks, it features both Christmas “standards,” as well as non-holiday-specific songs that fit “the season.” Natasha says, “I wanted to pull together a fun, unique, and beautifully arranged collection of songs for people to enjoy, not only during the holidays but before and after them, too.”
The album takes off in a New Orleans groove with White Christmas, driven by the funky, fun musings of trombonist Adam Theis and drummer Jeff Marrs.
Next comes a bluesy/swinging medley of Let it Snow, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and Frosty the Snowman, cleverly compiled by pianist/arranger Josh Nelson.
A solo gospel-piano intro by Josh Nelson opens I'll Be Home for Christmas, and the song finishes with a relaxed-vibe vocal performance.
Latin-jazz guitarist Steve Erquiaga joins Natasha for the smooth-soul presentation of Little Drummer Boy.
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas swings hard, and features extended solos from saxophonist Rob Roth and bassist John Shifflett.
For The Christmas Song, Natasha's warm, understated vocal floats over a sweet samba.
Bright and swinging, Santa Claus is Coming to Town is playful and cheery enough to chase away the Christmas blues.
The album also includes songs that convey the mood and spirit of the holidays. As the Years Come and Go, penned by Bobby Sharp, best known for his song, Unchain My Heart, made famous by Ray Charles and features Natasha's lovely vocals and her stellar violin playing.
Next is Natasha's signature haunting, reflective arrangement of My Favorite Things.
From West Side Story, One Hand One Heart is delicately introduced with a solo acoustic- guitar of Somewhere, quietly unifying the similar moods and themes of both compositions.
Next is an expert arrangement of Amazing Grace/Twinkle Twinkle Little Star/Silent Night by Josh Nelson and features Sheldon Brown on soprano sax.
The recording ends with Natasha's father, Martin Miller, making his debut appearance with a reading of Twas the Night Before Christmas, over a smart, improvised musical background by pianist Josh Nelson and drummer Tim Bulkley.
From the Bay Area, Miller has released several albums including the critically acclaimed Don't Move and I Had A Feelin', featuring the music of legendary songwriter Bobby Sharp.