Christmas Is: December Duets
Label: Whaling City Sound
Format: COMPACT DISC
Renzi, Mike; Porcella, Jim; Nero, Paul del; Pagano, Vinny
Do you know Mike Renzi? Now semi-retired, the immense musical talent has won seven Emmys for musical direction, including wins for his work on "Sesame Street" and the soap opera “One Life to Live.” Also noteworthy: Mike has backed some amazing talent, including Sinatra, Tony Bennett, as well as Tony’s work with Lady Gaga at the Grammys in 2015, appearing in an Irving Berlin tribute at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, dedicating a new Bennett-Sinatra Studio in Queens, and performing with Michael Feinstein and the Kravis Center Pops Orchestra Big Band in Palm Beach. Renzi’s newest project, Christmas Is: December Duets, is a recording for the acclaimed Whaling City Sound label. The date is a partnership with Jim Porcella, a genial-voiced baritone with serious jazz cred of his own. Together, Renzi and Porcella have produced a sublime collection of simple, heartfelt holiday tunes, all done with delightful originality. Renzi adds the perfect decor to Porcella’s warm yuletide voice, especially on the tender “Christmas Is,” the minor key magic of “Snowfall,” and a peaceful take on Irving Berlin’s “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm.” Throughout these lovely renditions, Renzi and Porcella stroll together, soft snow falling, with one mind and one festive vision. By the time the session wraps—with an upbeat “Winter Wonderland”— it’s a foregone conclusion. The duo has woven a hypnotic holiday spell, one you’ll be happy to hear again, as the fire crackles, the tinsel sparkles, and the mulled wine flows.