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Posted under: Culture News

India.Arie Rings In The Holidays With Jazz Album 'Christmas With Friends' Featuring Joe Sample, Kem And Brandy

Her voice is as beautiful as ever.

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The holiday season just got a bit warmer now with the release of songstress India.Arie's latest album. 

Christmas with Friends is a 10-track jazz album featuring the musical stylings of late pianist Joe Sample. The two met in 2012 at the Curacao Jazz Festival and immediately hit it off. They started working on a Christmas album together before Sample's passing in 2014.  

According to Billboard, Arie just wrapped up a seven-city tour with stops in New York City, Boston, Washington, D.C. and other East Coast destinations. She told the outlet the album was a passion project. Featuring classic tunes like "Silent Night," Arie recruited some of music's biggest names to lend their voices to these timeless songs. 

"I sent several songs to each person and said do what you feel," India.Arie told Billboard.

Singer Kem has a jazzy rendition of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” Pop legend and R&B singer Brandy sings “Silent Night,” and legendary crooner Michael McDonald lends his baritone to “Merry Christmas Baby.”

“Joe’s chord voicings were one of the things that was special about his playing,” India.Arie told Billboard. “His piano playing was so nuanced and delicate; it made me want to sing in a way that would complement his aesthetic. I just want people to take in the emotional tone of the whole album: it's a deep, good feeling.”

Others like Dave Koz and jazz artist Trombone Shorty partnered for “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm.”

In addition to Christmas with Friends, Arie will be releasing her eighth studio album, Worthy, in 2019

Christmas with Friends is now available on all streaming platforms. 

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Atlanta-based creative, dope photographer, journalist and lover of the wing ding.