National Jazz Trio of Scotland – The National Jazz Trio of Scotland's Christmas Album (Karaoke Kalk)
Forget Bowie and Bing. As winter warmers go, Bill Wells' reinvention of twelve festive favourites featuring vocalists Lorna Gilfedder (Golden Grrrls), Kate Sugden (Johnny and the Entries), Aby Vulliamy (The One Ensemble) and Gerard Black (Francois and the Atlas Mountains) is an exquisite slowed-down treat. With each of the singers offering more reflective and at times mournful renderings of normally celebratory sing-alongs, from Sugden's opening take on Oh Xmas Tree, through to the finale of We Three Kings, more depth is given to each song that belie any notions of Nouvelle Vague style kitsch. Wells' textured keyboard arrangements lend even more weight to a collection that puts meaning back into a season where comfort matters as much as joy.
The List, December 2012