If you are not familiar with Elisha Atlas Parris and his music, then you are truly missing out. I must admit that I actually stumbled upon Elisha's music a few weeks ago on Facebook and was absolutely blown away by the type of crossover jazz music he is doing. Luckily for me, I was introduced to his music just in time for his latest CD called "The Christmas Album."
I want to say Elisha is a jazz musician but he is so much more than that. Not only is his music fit for a neo-soul crossover, he also writes and produces his own music.
So delving into his holiday CD some more, I am enthralled by the tracks that are coming at me. Elisha has been going at it since 2010 as a performer but has worked behind the scenes for other musicians at his Parriscope Records agency longer than that. For someone this new in the industry it is quite easy to fall in the pitfalls of making music that sounds like other tracks on the market. But not Elisha; he seems to be musically blazing his own trail and I gotta say I'm digging it.
This CD is by no means your grandmother's holiday album. It's fun, funky, feel-good, happy-go-lucky, the very things that add to the festive season.
"The Christmas Album" is truly a fun-filled holiday ride with all your favorite holiday songs in tow with an overflow of magical moments.
"God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman" is the introduction to this CD, a quality track that falls in the soul-jazz category. It features impressive vocals by Kendra Cash and Kia Nicole against a soulful strut with militant drumwork seeping in and out.
"A Spoken Christmas" features Lyrical Trinitee and as its name implies it is a spoken word track about seeing a loved one for the holidays. Lyrical paints a vivid picture of making snow angels with her love while inhaling his cologne and about kissing under the mistletoe.
"When Was Jesus Born" has a bit of rag-time meets full gospel church. You will definitely be clapping and swaying to this one.
Later, Kiaya Cash's vocals is the perfect additive to the well-known "Favorite Things". The music starts off light and airy and swells into a really sophisticated melody that leads into a series of chord progressions that dips and flutters.
The Jingle Bells which features Clay Benjamin on guitar is brimming with sweet, sunshiny and flavorful synths while there is an interesting twist on "Drummer Boy."
Hear Elisha's daughter Zoe on "Silent Night" which begins with an acapella version of the song that eventually fades to make way for an organ-filled solo which is a tender and sweet interlude.
The CD's closer is "Christmas in Florida" and if you close your eyes and listen to it, you may just be transported to how Christmas is done in the sunny state. You get a glimpse of a snow-less Christmas where Floridians are dressed in shorts and tees hanging on the beach; there is still Eggnog, candied yams and baked turkey to be enjoyed in this all-out holiday house party jam.
A bit about Elisha, he is an urban jazz pianist that was actually born into a musical family. He would credit his trombone playing father and piano teacher mother as the two people who have inspired him to do what he does.
He has played at a few jazz festival and clubs across the country including the Jacksonville Jazz Festival, The Sun Fest and the historic B Sharp Jazz Cafe.
While in the music program at Edward Waters College, He was student musician for the renowned EWC Chorale while attending the music program at Edward Waters College. Elisha is also a recipient of the both the NCP Musician of the Year Award and the JCAA Musician of the Year Award. “Atlas” has composed for artists like Grammy and Stellar Award-nominated gospel singer/producer, Troy Sneed (Emtro) and Gospel Jazz Pianist, Bruce Allen (Meridian Group).
As a producer, he's led the creative process on numerous tracks and projects for artists such as Celestial ("Celestial"), Brent Brown (New Thang), Chris Williams ("Vintage Soul") and Segue ("Tell Ya a Second"), just to name a few.
Order Elisha's CD HERE: or on Itunes.
Three of Elisha's holiday tracks "Jingle Bells" "Favorite Things" and "A Spoken Christmas" are currently in holiday rotation on Jazz Moods Radio