PJ Parker's new digital collection, It's Christmas," features a mix of traditional and contemporary Christmas songs such as Silent Night," Deck the Halls," A Child is Born," and nine others, and introduces her own, Not Beneath the Tree."
Not Beneath the Tree" was born in December 2002 on a hectic, pre-Christmas Saturday after a phone conversation between PJ and her parents concerning holiday shopping. PJ's father, Tom, was gravely ill, and his worry was that he would be unable to travel to gift his beloved wife with the typically lovely things he so delighted in presenting her, not even a card. Her mother, Gloria, married to the love of her life for over five decades, plainly and simply declared that all she would ever need was him, her sweet darling, in whose lap she was happily snuggled - the perspective immediately and indelibly righted. This debut recording marks the fifth anniversary of that bittersweet season.
It's Christmas" includes a bonus version of Silent Night," previously recorded in Rosse's, an intimate venue nestled in New Jersey's Watchung Mountains.
PJ's first recording of Mel Torme's The Christmas Song," an a capella version at age three, was one of the first songs she was taught by her father, jazz pianist Tom Parker. Her grown-up version concludes the collection.
PJ is creatively accompanied on It's Christmas" by pianist Vinnie Ruggieri and bassist Earl Sauls.
It's Christmas" is available as a digital download only from PJ's Web site -- pjparker.net -- or from iTunes, CDBabay and other popular download sites.
A native New Yorker, PJ Parker has been performing live since she was five years old. After graduating from New York University, PJ toured with various show bands up and down the East Coast, Midwest and the Bahamas. She has performed in concerts, dinner theater, summer stock and regional theater and musical reviews, and has also been the featured vocalist with orchestras and bands from Atlantic City to New York City.
As a jazz vocalist, PJ has performed with such artists as Jerry Bruno, Roy Cumming, Steve Gilmore, Harry Leahy, Keith MacDonald, Gary Mazzaroppi, Geary Moore, Rich Reiter and Radam Schwartz. She has also been the featured vocalist for opening act bands for John Pizzarelli and Harry Connick Jr., and appeared in the annual Philadelphia Variety Club Telethon with Ben Vereen and Maureen McGovern. She was also the featured female vocalist in the big band show, Your Seaside Ballroom," which received rave reviews at the Trump Plaza Theater in Atlantic City.
PJ's first live CD, Intimate," features her unique renditions of selections from the Great American Songbook. Radio stations airing Intimate" include WGBH in Boston, Mass.; KSDS in San Diego, Ca.; KMHD in Portland, Ore.; WPFW in Washington, D.C., and WPRB in Princeton, NJ.
Reviewers across the U.S. and in Europe have embraced PJ and Intimate". Andrea Canter of Jazz Police writes: PJ Parker rises above the sea of promising vocalists as a true jazz singer who warrants serious attention ... PJ makes every note and phrase a personal experiment." Scott Yanow of LA Jazz Scene writes: PJ has a sweet and very musical voice and her singing is full of honest emotions and subtle improvising." Larry Taylor of JazzReview writes: ... she sings with a touch of Jane Monheit-like sweetness in the ballads ... (PJ) is in command, slowly drawing the listener in with an attitude of majestic surrender. And from Paris, France, Michel Bedin of Jazz Hot writes: Intimate" is a beautiful example of real jazz in the United States, the popular jazz that has never been avoided by the people who know the music." Jazz Hot also named Intimate" a Discovery" for March, 2007.Track listing for It's Christmas"
- Silent Night
- Not Beneath the Tree
- I'll Be Home for Christmas
- Jingle Bells
- A Child is Born
- I Wonder as I Wander
- Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
- Santa Claus is Comin' to Town
- Stay With Me
- (Everybody's Waitin' For) The Man With the Bag
- Deck the Halls
- Silent Night (Live at Rosse's)
- The Christmas Song