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Merry Christmas

Over the course of a recording career that has spanned two decades and seven albums, internationally-acclaimed jazz chanteuse Chantal Chamberland had yet to release any Christmas-themed material. Happily, that is no longer the case, as she has just delivered Merry Christmas, an EP of holiday-themed material sure to delight her large and loyal following.

The five-song collection features tunes sung in both French and English (Chantal is equally at home in both languages), and is a carefully curated mix of the old and new. Chantal brings two holiday standards, "Let it Snow" and "Santa Baby," to vibrant life here, while also premiering a new song that has the potential of becoming a seasonal classic. Penned by Hamilton songwriter Amy King, "Maybe Next Christmas" is a sweet treat, a gentle and tender plea for a happy holiday time to come.

As has become a CC signature, the EP sports production and musicianship of the highest order. Chamberland produced, with co-production and mixing by Paul Intson, who also played bass. Other players featured are pianist Eric Boucher, tenor saxophonist Leo T. Sullivan, drummer Dan Lockwood, lead guitarist Darrin Schott, and, on "Ma Liste de Noel," TSO cellist Winona Zelenka.

The subtle and sparse accompaniment enhances but never overshadows the star of the show, Chantal's rich and emotionally expressive voice. It is one that wraps the listener's heart and soul in a loving embrace you won't want to shake.

The effect of Merry Christmas is as warming as a log fire on a winter's night. Come on in!

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