Artist: Take 6
Album: The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
Release Date: October 5th, 2010
Style: Acappella / Jazz / Vocal
Label: Heads Up / Concord Music Group Inc.
Location: Nashville TN, Los Angeles CA
It might be the parties. Or maybe it’s the roasting of chestnuts. Or the caroling out in the snow. Whatever the reason, most people consider the holiday season to be the most wonderful time of the year. That’s certainly the case among the members of Take 6, the a cappella group that has been mixing elements of jazz, gospel, R&B and vintage doo-wop for nearly 25 years. Winners of 10 GRAMMY® Awards, 10 Dove Awards, one Soul Train Award and two NAACP Image Awards, the group has made an indelible musical and cultural mark in the past quarter century whatever the season.
Every member of this brilliant vocal team Claude McKnight III, Mark Kibble, Joel Kibble, David Thomas, Dr. Cedric Dent and Alvin Chea has held onto fond childhood memories of the holidays and made them a part of their adult lives. The timeless magic is very much a part of the their new holiday CD, The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, a collection of seasonal favorites that are as heartwarming as a crackling fire and a festooned evergreen.
The primary objective in the making of the album was to create a sense of familiarity, says McKnight, who founded Take 6 in the ‘80s with some classmates from Oakwood College in Huntsville, Alabama. “We wanted all the songs on this album to be the kind that people would hear and say, ‘Oh, yeah, I sing that at Christmas time,’” he says. “We each picked songs that we sing with our families every year at the holidays… We just wanted to make a record that would, for most people, just put out a really cool, all-around Christmas vibe.”
Mark Kibble, who arranged six of the album’s ten tracks, focused on keeping things simple, yet incorporating some of the harmonic spin that has become the Take 6 trademark. “The basic idea was to just let the Christmas melody ring through, and present it in a way that’s interesting but still familiar,” he says. “You shouldn’t have to bend your ear too hard to enjoy a Christmas song. It should take you right back to those early Christmases when you were a child.”
In the end, says Kibble, accessibility was the overriding objective in crafting these holiday tracks. “We wanted to record songs that were simple enough so that anybody listening could follow the melodies and sing along,” he says, “and yet still be ourselves and give a little bit of the harmonic backdrop that Take 6 is known for.”
This holiday season, when there’s much mistloeing and hearts are glowing when loved ones are near, sit back with Take 6 and enjoy The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.
Reviews & Opinions:
“I got extremely happy when I heard that Take 6 was coming out with a new Christmas album. On the other hand, I was a bit nervous because I wasn’t sure how this one would stand with the previous 2 Holiday albums (which were amazing). Well, now that I have heard the entire album I can honestly sat that I absolutely love it! The harmonies, for a group that have been around for 20 years, are just perfect! I cannot think of anything negative to say about these guys, their music or voices. I have yet to hear a group (acapella or not) on the same level as these guys. You will not be disappointed by this album. It can be played with family, friends, at parties, etc. Each song still has its classical sound with a spin to it.” - TexasGurl
“I’m a pretty big Take 6 fan, as I have all but I think 2 of their albums. So when I heard that they were dropping a project, I HAD to order…and they didn’t disappoint. For their 3rd project, it’s very much similar to some of the arrangements on “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.” It’s full of many familiar Christmas songs that are all altered with their their signature acapella sound.
I wouldn’t say that they stretch that much on this project, but that doesn’t mean that the songs lack that stylistic complexity that we always see from the group. The bass exchanges on “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch” are simply amazing, and it almost displays the amazing personality that they bring to their live performances. Shelea Frazier joins the group (same singer on their last album who was featured on the song “Someone To Watch Over Me”) and she provides a great contrast to the warmness of the group. Even “The Sugarplum Dance” is fun to listen to. And they had some cool ideas for “White Christmas” and “Jingle Bells”
If you’re a Take 6 fan…or just like hearing some amazing vocal arrangements, I’d say that this is a must have. If you’re not hip to Take 6, I’d still say try it out…especially if you like Glee. (Hate I had to reference that, by the way!) Glad they’re still rolling well and making great music. They’re truly jazz (and good music) ambassadors. ” - Brian
“This is a very good album! Every song on it is very well done! And, the harmonies, they are just out of this world! “Christmas Time Is Here” is my favorite song on the album, it is so beautiful, but, again, all the songs are very good. I’ll tell you what, if you’re trying to decide on whether or not you should buy the album, stop thinking about it, go ahead and buy it! You will be so glad you did, trust me:) ” - J.T.
1. It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
2. White Christmas
3. Grinch Intro / The Grinch
4. Sleigh Ride
5. I’ll Be Home For Christmas
6. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
7. The Sugarplum Dance
8. I Saw Three Ships
9. Jingle Bells
10. Christmas Time Is Here
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