November 3, 2019 – 6:18 am


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Swingin’ Christmas with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
conductor Gavin Sutherland
Glasgow 2018 [no label, 1CD]

Live at the City Halls, Glasgow, Scotland; December 21, 2018. Very good BBC broadcast.

Jazz superstar Clare Teal sings and presents a swingin’ Christmas Concert from City Halls Glasgow with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Get into the seasonal spirit as jazz singer and BBC Radio 2 presenter Clare Teal joins the orchestra for a festive Friday night of classic Christmas songs, all performed with her inimitable panache and humour. Expect a sparkling mix of old chestnuts, unearthed treasures and Yuletide originals in some finger-snapping, toe-tapping arrangements, with the sound of the BBC SSO radiating a musical warmth thatís guaranteed to melt the frostiest of hearts.

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Keith Bruce, heraldscotland.com:

Obviously, the big question is whether the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra matched the RSNO in the Christmas costume stakes. As that will not be detectable when this concert is broadcast in Radio Scotland at 10 pm on Christmas Eve, it is my duty to report on the splendid Santa fat suit sported by percussionist Dave Lyons, and first cello Alison Lawrance’s vibrant cerise Su-a Lee wig (a rather good Scottish musical gag, that). On the wireless you will also have to imagine the scarlet Christmas frock worn by audience member Freda, who rather stole the show, having been cajoled into participating in the SSO’s community singalong version of the 12 Days of Christmas.

So much for the similarities with the RSNO’s Christmas concert. In other ways, we were in vastly different territory. Although Leroy Anderson’s Sleigh Ride made an appearance as an encore, some of the other instrumental orchestral music and medleys here were rather more pointy-headed than those in the RSNO programme, while on the other hand the SSO was also a very fine big band to accompany singer Clare Teal.

Heather Corbett’s percussion section was on stellar form throughout, and Teal’s trio version of the 1930s Ella Fitzgerald classic Mr Paganini was driven along by none other than the great Alyn Cosker on drums. With seasoned dance-music conductor Gavin Sutherland on the podium, the non-seasonal music also included Nelson Riddle’s arrangement of the Gershwin brothers’ Someone to Watch Over Me, and a tribute to Doris Day, who will be 97 next year, in the Cahn/Styne It’s Magic, while the Christmas hits referenced Andy Williams (It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year), Judy Garland (Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas) and – more unusually – Kay Starr, with Everybody’s Waitin’ for the Man with the Bag.

Teal seemed less comfortable on Sutherland’s own arrangement of O Holy Night (more Kathryn Jenkins repertoire, really), while the most recently written song, Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You, fitted right in, thanks to the excellent big band arrangement by trumpeter Guy Barker.

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Thanks to the uploader for sharing the show at Dime.

BBC 320/48 MPEG-TS/ffmpeg - ts file/Audition CC - Convert to 44.1/16, tracks, fades, FLAC
BBC Radio Scotland, BBC 320kb/s HLS stream ts transfer

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (224 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

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Track 01. Intro, Orchestra Medley 7:55
Track 02. banter 1:23
Track 03. It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year 2:36
Track 04. banter 0:50
Track 05. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas 2:32
Track 06. banter 0:51
Track 07. Winter Wonderland 2:15
Track 08. audience 0:11
Track 09. Someone to Watch Over Me 4:59
Track 10. audience 0:09
Track 11. Fairytale Sleighride 4:28
Track 12. banter 1:16
Track 13. Merry Christmas To You 3:39
Track 14. audience 0:12
Track 15. Swinging Christmas Overture 4:10
Track 16. banter 3:06
Track 17. 12 Days Of Christmas 5:33
Track 18. Orchestra 3:24
Track 19. banter 1:24
Track 20. Let It Snow 1:58
Track 21. banter 0:39
Track 22. It’s Magic 3:34
Track 23. O Holy Night 4:43
Track 24. banter 0:51
Track 25. The Man With The Bag 2:39
Track 26. banter 0:49
Track 27. You’ll Have to Swing It (Mr Paganini) 4:19
Track 28. All I Want For Christmas Is You 5:09
Track 29. banter 0:27
Track 30. Medley 5:23
Track 31. Sleigh Ride (orchestra) 3:03
Track 32. outro 0:32
85 mins

Click here to order Clare Teal releases.


  2. THANKS!!!
    Good stuff.

    By John on Nov 3, 2019

  3. Rumor has it this is a lady who prefers Big Uns

    By U L E on Nov 3, 2019

  4. She sounds a lot likethe great Peggy Lee in the fifties and early sixties. Is it her daughter or granddaughter? The voices are very similar and that’s a compliment. Good stuff.

    By Thomas on Nov 3, 2019

  5. They even look a lot alike .

    By Thomas on Nov 3, 2019

  6. You’re so right . I thought I was listening to Peggy Lee. The voice and physical resemblance is eery.

    By Bill on Nov 5, 2019

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