jim_samuel_now_3Jim Samuel is totally ready for the holidays. The keyboardist is excited about the re-release of his CD ‘Christmas.’ “When I came back to music the first songs I tried to arrange and record were Christmas songs,” says Samuel. He adds, “I have always enjoyed the holidays and really like Christmas music of all kind (carols, pop, gospel, etc). I played a few (songs) for some friends who along with my wife encouraged me to put together a CD.

Having a great connection to the holidays helped Samuel create this wonderful Christmas collection. He says, “I really like Christmas carols. They are not only great in their original design but I find they lend themselves to interesting arrangements. I like songs that be be changed to make them my own.”

Samuel shared with us some of his own traditions, “Besides the usual holiday parties , we generally go to a family Christmas Eve party with plenty of eats, drink and be merry to go along with our own unique singing of Christmas songs. On Christmas Day there is another large family gathering which is just an excuse to continue the Xmas Eve party.”

The keyboardist says he loves those famous Johnny Mathis Christmas CD and many others, He says,”My faves from the Christmas album are Frosty – a 70’s Soul version that makes for a fun Frosty that James Brown would be proud of 2) This Christmas- my homage to Disco music 3) Skating- Smooth Jazz, you can’t go wrong with Charlie Brown and 4) Joy to the World- a little Stevie Wonder like version of A Christmas Carol.”

The real exciting news for Samuel is his next album to be released in January. ‘NOW’ is my new album,” says Samuel. “Unlike my last CD , ‘NOW’ has mostly original songs I have written and has great performances from Gerald Albright, Rob Tardik and Tony Neenan. I am re-learning how to record after many years away. Having these outstanding artists and a live rhythm track makes NOW very different from my previous album.”

Watch for more news on Samuel right here on Smooth Jazz Now.