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  • Jonathan Widran

JJ Sansaverino, "Tree Trimming With You"

If that’s a transcendent feeling of joy and exuberance you’re hearing as you groove along to JJ Sansaverino’s horn-fired first-ever holiday single “Tree Trimming With You,” it’s with good reason. The multi-talented composer-guitarist – who released his debut album Sunshine After Midnight back in 2005 – has a lot to be grateful for and celebrate after a breakthrough year which including his first #1 Billboard chart single with “Style and Elegance,” from his latest album Cocktails & Jazz.

The song starts with. The seductive, easy funk mid-tempo jam seems perfectly designed for tree trimming, parties and all kinds of holiday activities, opening with festive jingle bells and the spirited energy of chimes before easing us into yet another fanciful showcase of his crisp, soulful rock/blues tinged electric guitar licks, drenched in rising horn section energy (courtesy of saxophonist Art Sherrod Jr. and trumpeter Jonathan Powell) in those perfect sweet spots along the way.

About halfway through, Sansaverino complements all the sonic instrumental holiday accents with Porter Shields’ silky background vocals which repeat the title of the song to drive the holiday spirit home. Throughout the Berklee School of Music grad’s eclectic career – which has included sharing stages with everyone from Maceo Parker to Shaggy and Gerald Albright and a performance for Sir Paul McCartney’s 2002 wedding – Sansaverino has been pegged as “Benson meets Santana.”

It’s a strong comparison which reflects the zesty blend of melodic jazz fluidity and slow burning rock-edged fire he brings to contemporary urban jazz.

Yet over the years, his blend of consistent hit making with innovative self-challenges has really made his sound dynamic and unique in its own right beyond those go-to comparisons. As we enjoy “Tree Trimming with You” as part of our contemporary jazz holiday playlist this year, we can also look forward to more in the pocket, chart ascending magic from Sansaverino in 2022!

Listen to "Tree Trimming With You" here:


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