by Robert S. Harmon
In March of 2018 we covered a new release by the duet Acute Inflections. We described the duo as “Elasea Douglas, is a gifted singer, songwriter, dancer and actress, and Sadiki Pierre, is a talented upright bass player who is uniquely capable of playing and fusing almost any style of music including classical, jazz, Latin, reggae and R&B, these unique traits are ever-present in their debut offering entitled The Brave.” Now the duo is back with a wonderful holiday offering acutely titled In December.
The album features ten classic nuggets and an original written especially for the season. It is too late for the Christmas playlist. Well for some, no – many believe the Christmas season begins at midnight on December 24 and continues well into January 10th. So, let the holiday playlists begin! There are many feasts still ahead, both during and after the Octave of Christmas, there are number of feasts to commemorate and celebrate.
From the fun and fanciful giddy up of “Sleigh Ride,” to the nostalgia of “White Christmas,” that is a welcomed sight during the holiday season, the duo treats each arrangement with care to brighten the sonic palette.
The classic “Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow” is given a Latin treatment as Douglas floats atop the rhythm with extended phrases adding interest and originality. While, “The Little Drummer Boy,” strongly features Pierre creating rhythm with his fingers, and hands on the body of his bass. The tune is taken at half speed until the second form, where the duo uptakes the feel to a groove-based rendition with the feel. Pierre creates a lot of sound with two hands and an upright bass. While Douglas muses the lyrics with a fashionable flavoring.
A favorite for me, “Jingle Bell Rock” made famous by Bobby Helms in 1957, is given a spirited arrangement. Of particular note is the duets original tune “In December,” the lyrics are exquisitely written. Covering more than the Christmas season, it invokes reflection, mourning the renewal of new life, rebirth, friendships, and the inclusion of multiple holidays celebrated in the December month, including the joyous wonder of Winter itself.
In December is a festive offering that features a captivating duet that regularly puts their own spin on classic tunes from an arrangement and performance standpoint. Just like The Brave, their holiday offering In December will brighten your playlist and hopefully ring in what just began as the holiday season. Enjoy, enjoy!