Jingle Ma Belle
This stocking stuffer of a compilation is the second from Toronto independent music collective Ladies in Waiting, which includes founders Cindy Doire, Andrea Ramolo, Sarah Burton, Faye Blais, Kristin Sweetland and Melanie Brulée.
Jingle Ma Belle’s dozen songs are modern twists on classical and contemporary holiday tunes. Their syncopated rendition of O Christmas Tree (sung by Karyn Ellis and Marina Marina) holds on to just enough Charlie Brownish playfulness, but the melody on poppy jazz opener Jingle Bells (sung by Blais) sounds overly deconstructed.
Whoever curated the track listing got it right. Some instrumental harp by Sahra Featherstone comes when needed. Bluesy Carol For The Innkeeper (sung by PerlHaze) and soulful Don’t Let Me Be Alone On Christmas (sung by Burton) sit nicely back to back.
But saving the party for the final two tracks, rock ‘n’ roller Santa Baby (sung by Brulée) and a Motowny Gee Whiz It’s Christmas (sung by Treasa Levasseur), was a strange idea – the rest of the comp is so mellow.
Top track: O Christmas Tree
Ladies in Waiting play Hugh’s Room on Thursday (December 18). More info here.