The Herald

High-flying Teal hits the right notes on super Christmas sleighride



Keith Bruce WITH Calvinisti­c disapprova­l of its superficia­l materialis­m, I had taken Kay Starr’s Christmas hit Everybody’s Waiting for The Man with the Bag to be a coded drug song.

Listening to Clare Teal perform it with the super-versatile BBC Scottish during this packed-out live concert recording for broadcast on Christmas Eve, it belatedly struck me that is probably nonsense.

Teal was on fine up-tempo form on this swinger, but even better on Sarah Vaughan’s Snowbound, which was served in a beautiful arrangemen­t by Don Costa featuring a lovely moment of dialogue between the singer and orchestra leader Laura Samuel.

Details like that were recurring delights of this Stephen Bellconduc­ted programme, from the familiar celesta and bass clarinet of the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, to precision percussion on Morton Gould’s remarkably delicate arrangemen­t of Jingle Bells.

That revivified Yule chestnut also included one of many crucial contributi­ons from the trombone section, in an evening when the brass often had the best of it, unsurprisi­ngly including Leroy Anderson’s Bugler’s Holiday and redeeming Guy Barker’s arrangemen­t of Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas is You, on which Teal seemed rather less at ease.

Seasoned Radio 2 broadcaste­r though she is, this was our own Jamie MacDougall’s show, his presentati­on having just the right quotient of panto, and his own vocal contributi­ons on Mel Torme’s Christmas Song and Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley’s Pure Imaginatio­n, from Willy Wonka, also highlights of the night.

However, I might, in fact, have preferred to hear his reading of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

The orchestral music, especially the sleighride­s, was splendid too, even if Richard Bissill’s Overture: Christmas Carnival was a bit too much rich pudding before the interval.

 ??  ?? CLARE TEAL: Singer was spot on with Sarah Vaughan’s Snowbound. City Halls, Glasgow
CLARE TEAL: Singer was spot on with Sarah Vaughan’s Snowbound. City Halls, Glasgow

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