Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter-producer Sam Sparro will release Christmas In Blue, a jazz record for people who feel “blue” during the holidays, on November 17. The 4-song EP includes includes a version of the Vince Guaraldi Trio’s “Christmas Time Is Here” from A Charlie Brown Christmas and a reworking of the Wham! classic “Last Christmas,” as well as an original track titled “Christmas In Your Heart.”
While the majority of Sam’s catalogue is rooted in funk, R&B, pop and electronic music, he comes from a rich jazz background. Sam’s great-grandfather was a jazz guitarist, his grandfather was renowned Australian trumpet player and arranger Ron Falson, and his father Chris is a noted Blues and Gospel musician. The EP was mixed by Grammy Award-winning mixer John Paterno and features a cast of great players including Sam’s dad.
“I was around a lot of jazz as a child, often going to see my granddad record with big bands and hearing him arrange music in the house. My grandma was always playing records and singing; the house was filled with jazz non stop everyday,” Sam recalls. “It’s something I’ve come to appreciate more and more as I’ve gotten older. I’ve always got Bill Evans and Miles Davis in heavy rotation at my house as well as new greats like Kamasi Washington. I think jazz is the greatest music ever and almost everything that I like stems from it in someway or another.”
The EP was recorded in Los Angeles over 2 weeks in September and co-produced and arranged by film composer Tim Kvasnosky. Sam says, “Tim has such a wide knowledge and deep love for jazz. We’ll sit by the piano and mull over standards a lot of the time and the idea for doing a Christmas record sort of came about very organically and very quickly. Within a few weeks we had recorded and mixed the whole thing.”
Of original track “Christmas In Your Heart,” Sam states: “I was hesitant to write an original. There hasn’t really been a song entered into the ‘Christmas canon’ since ‘All I Want for Christmas’ in 1993 and the task seemed a little overwhelming. But I decided to have a go. There’s been so much suffering and hard times for a lot of people – I wanted to write about trying to get into the spirit of things in spite of everything that’s going on. That’s how ‘Christmas in Your Heart’ came about.”
Pre-order the album here: hyperurl.co/xmasblue
About Sam Sparro:
Born in Sydney and raised in Los Angeles, he is a singer, songwriter and music producer. His releases include the Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum single “Black and Gold,” the No. 1 single “Happiness” and the albums Sam Sparro (Gold Certification) and Return to Paradise (2012). He has previously collaborated with Mark Ronson, Kylie Minogue, AlunaGeorge, Basement Jaxx, Nile Rodgers and Adam Lambert, among others. He has been nominated for five ARIA Music awards, and won a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Artist, as well as the GQ Man of Style award. Sam recently performed with the Royal Ballet in London as part of their ’16/’17 season in Mark Ronson’s “Carbon Life.” He has performed at Glastonbury, Coachella and Lovebox among other festivals and stages around the world. In 2016 he released the final EP in a 3 part series, Quantum Physical Vol 1, 2 & 3. His latest release “Back to the Rhythm” is a collaboration with Australian Producer Luke Million and is out now. Sam is currently recording his third full length album as well as a new project with Scissor Sisters frontman Jake Shears.
Photo Credit: Dede Reynolds