Two years after the release of his debut album, Vintage Christmas, David Ian has with returned with a new five track EP titled Vintage Christmas Wonderland. It picks up where his last album left off as it is an album of light jazz Christmas songs that would have fit into the music scene of 50 or 60 years ago.
It is music that grows on you as his approach is subtle and laid back. He made a wise decision to include vocalists on three of the tracks. Still, it is an EP and if you are inclined to his style of music, it is too short. What is here, however, has a certain allure.
The music is stripped down to basics as the focus is mostly on his subtle improvisational piano runs. At times a bass, percussion, and cello float in and out of the mix.
“Angels We Have Heard On High” receives a slowed down treatment that would fit nicely into a smoky lounge at midnight. Acacia give an effective but somewhat usual vocal performance as her cadence reminds me of Devo. “O Little Town Of Bethlehem” receives a laid back jazzy treatment. “Winter Wonderland” harps back to the big band era and features a calming vocal by Andre Miguel Mayo.
“The First Noel” is the best example of his piano skills as he explores tempo changes and the use of notes that run counter to the melody. The album closing “Jingle Bells” is upbeat and the most traditional piece on the release.
David Ian has released music for late at night as you sit in front of a fire with some fine wine with cheese and crackers. It is wonderful background music for a Christmas night. It’s just too bad there isn’t more of it.