Simply beautiful. A jazz sensation in the San Francisco Bay area, Natasha Miller applies a clean and classy approach to twelve Christmas cuts in The Season. This generous release (55 minutes!) provides great holiday fare for adults; the singing is sophisticated without vocal gymnastics, and the supporting ensemble smokes.

Although the musicianship here is outstanding throughout, Miller's voice is best showcased in slower pieces such as The Christmas Song, where every nuance can be savored. The artist's treatment of My Favorite Things is exceptional, injecting incredible intensity and emotion into a tune that is often fluff (and the piano jazz interludes are extremely cool). Her execution of One Hand One Heart (from "West Side Story") is achingly lovely within a gorgeous guitar framework. Her Amazing Grace/Silent Night/Twinkle Twinkle Little Star selection is one of the more creative seasonal medleys around, and it's a keeper.

The final track, Twas the Night Before Christmas, is a nearly six-minute reading (by Martin Miller) with musical accompaniment for the Clement Moore poem. Although I generally do not favor narratives in my holiday music, this is a particularly fine execution of a nostalgic favorite.

Let this be The Season that you discover Natasha Miller. She's the jazzy gift that keeps on giving!

Carol Swanson - (Dec 1, 2007)