Review of The Greatest Gift CD

Leann Albrecht

The Greatest Gift

Summary: Magnificently sculpted alto that masters these smooth jazz pieces with great style and musicianship

The Greatest Gift
Label: Leann Albrecht
Length: 44 minutes
Genre: Jazz
Release: 2006

Our Review

Albrecht is a woman who treasures her religion, possesses an impressive musical background, and resides in Nashville, a great American town (my husband and I graduated from Vanderbilt many moons ago). For me, her success in The Greatest Gift centers on her voice, a magnificently sculpted alto that masters these smooth jazz pieces with great style and musicianship. Terrific!

I do have one complaint. Whose bright idea was it to put the album credits in a teensy-tiny font size that requires a magnifying glass to decipher?? Geez, this makes a cranky old reviewer feel even older by the minute!

Fortunately, listening to The Greatest Gift makes me forget my aging eyes and concentrate on the excellent phrasing Albrecht employs as she moves through The Christmas Song, which is the album’s opener, and beyond. The artist sings with depth, transmitting a sweet sultriness and demonstrating impressive vocal flexibility without disappearing into over-the-top gymnastics. The second piece is the title track, an original by Leann and Carl Albrecht with David McKay. This new number is a natural; the melody is catchy, and the lyrics are smartly written.

Every cut is a pleasure. The overall mood is gently upbeat, and Albrecht’s excellent voice held me spellbound throughout. My favorite tracks include the haunting I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day and the fantastic closing Christmas medley (a shimmering combination of O Come O Come EmmanuelWhat Child Is This?O Little Town of Bethlehem, and O Come, All Ye Faithful).

So now I know who Leann Albrecht is, and you do, too. Do yourself a favor and check out The Greatest Gift. Enjoy!

–Carol Swanson


From the liner notes:
Executive Producer: Carl Albrecht
Keys: David McKay
Bass: Gary Lunn
Electric guitar: Mike Bauer
Acoustic guitar: Mark Baldwin
Recording engineers: Markus Hendrickson and Michael Demus

All songs arranged by David McKay and Carl Albrecht except “The Christmas Song” and “White Christmas” which were arranged by David McKay

Track List

Song Title
The Christmas Song
The Greatest Gift
Silent Night
White Christmas
What Christmas Means to Me
Joy to the World
I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
O Holy Night
Deeper Still
A Cradle in Bethlehem
Christmas Medley

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