Kristin Korb (Bass, Voice)
Magnus Hjorth (Piano)
Snorre Kirk (Drums)
Mathias Heise (Harmonica, courtesy of Giant Sheep Music)
Bassist/vocalist Kristin Korb creates an intriguing album with the use of Mathias Heise’s harmonica along with Snorre Kirk/dr and Magnus Hjorth/p. The mix of voice and harp blend well on the soulful “Christmas Will Really Be Christmas” and a bluesy “UpON The Housetop/Here Comes Santa Claus.” Dreamy moods are created on “Silent Night” and “We Three Kings” but the most intriguing read is the duet between Korb and Hjorth on a serene “Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep.” Sublime swing.
George Harris, Jazz Weekly
An American expatriate to Denmark, bassist and vocalist Kristin Korb has a reputation for an infectious spirit, brimming with optimism and mirth. What better personality features could be wanted for a jazz holiday offering. Korb's bona fides begin with her mentor, Ray Brown with whom she studied and recorded.
In the early 2000s she settled in the City of Angels: teaching, recording, and performing live. In 2011 she took off for Copenhagen where she established a trio with locals, pianist Magnus Hjorth and drummer Snorre Kirk. For her holiday recording, That Time of Year, Korb welcomes Mathias Heise on harmonica, who brings added sparkle to an otherwise bright and cheery ensemble.
To be sure, this is a bassist's recording date, Korb's broad and juicy tone right out from with her recklessly sexy alto voice. She splits her efforts between the tried- and-true holiday classics: the modern secular, "I've Got My Love to Keep Me," "Winter Wonderland," the spiritually-based "Angels We Have Heard on High," 'Silent Night," and "We Three Kings." The trio setting is intimate, perfect for Korb's voice and Mathias Heise's harmonica is the icing on that Christmas cookie. The centerpiece of the recording is "Santa Baby" with Korb on voice and bass and Heise on harmonica, occasionally transitioning from Toots Thielemans to Sony Boy Williamson as Korb sardonically serves up the lyrics of want. A truly great jazz Christmas disc.
All About Jazz
Among the ballads, Vince Guaraldi’s “Christmas Time Is Here” stands out for the nostalgia in Ms. Korb’s delivery of Lee Mendelson’s lyric from a treasured 1965 Christmas television film populated by Charles Schultz’s Peanuts characters.
She uses Dave Frishberg’s soothing melody and lyric of “Snowbound” for an effective bit of romantic storytelling and clever scatting that leads to equally incisive solos by Hjorth and Heise. Ms. Korb and the rhythm section take great advantage of the harmonies of the French traditional hymn “Angels We Have Heard On High,” in which Heise’s harmonica expands on the exuberance in the bossa nova rhythmic pattern of Kirk’s drumming. Korb’s bass solo and her bass line behind Hjorth’s piano and Heise’s harmonica solos are the high points of “We Three Kings.”
Doug Ramsey, Arts Journal