After 4 years in the making, City Sketches & Red River Entertainment releases a heartfelt 10-song offering of Holiday classics and original Holiday songs from Pianist/Arranger Bob Baldwin entitled The Gift of Christmas.” The Grammy-nominated artist penned two songs, but the gist of the project is tapping into several 50+ year-old classics. 
The singles that will be serviced to radio stations for airplay will be the instrumental Donny Hathaway Classic “This Christmas” as well as the funk-jazz vocal arrangement of “Do You Hear What I Hear”.
His Donny Hathaway classic “This Christmas” is a childhood favorite of Baldwin, who admired the artist deeply as a teenager. Another childhood musical idol was in the form of a Peanuts music character of Linus, and that was Vince Guaraldi, who performed the music on the classic Charlie Brown Christmas program.
Baldwin reached back to the classic era, performing his own versions of “Silent Night” (1816), and “What Child is This” (1580) as well as the 1847 classic of “Oh Holy Night”. Those performances were done with his concert bandmates, bassist Dave Anderson (credits include Bill Evans, Guitars and Saxes, Special EFX)
 and Bronx native Tony Lewis on Drums. The effort was intimate and freestyle with the Baldwin signature harmonic twist. “Oh Holy Night / Tenderness” features on flute New York native Ragan Whiteside, who adds a classical melodic tone to the track.
Then there are vocal variations of more classics, like “Oh Come, All Ye Faithful / Celebrate The Son”, “We Three Kings” and “Do You Hear What I Hear”, more Baldwin childhood favorites. These songs features the vocal work of Corvina Neilsen, who Baldwin used to work with at Macedonia Baptist Church (Mt. Vernon, NY) in the 1980’s and 1990’s when he was an Assistant Music Director there. In the early 1990’s, Baldwin used to do a Christmas program showcasing some of the above-mentioned pieces and featured Ms. Neilsen. They were both finally able to perform these songs on tape nearly 20 years later.
“I enjoyed this project because it reminded me of my childhood and going to church with my mother and great aunt. I would enjoy listening to God’s word, which helped to shape me today, but also allowed me to hear music from a spiritual voice, and allowed me to hear how the music can be used to save souls and inspire people on a higher level”.
This is Baldwin’s 23rd solo release. It’s also his first full Holiday disc release. 14 previous charting discs have landed on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Charts as far back as 1993. His collaboration credits as a performer and producer include Grover Washington, Jr., Marion Meadows, George Benson, Gerald Albright, Euge Groove, Will Downing, Phil Perry, Pieces of a Dream, Paul Taylor, Rick Braun, Kirk Whalum and Chuck Loeb. Since 2008, he has hosted the nationally syndicated radio program “The NewUrbanJazz Lounge,” which attracts nearly 500,000 listeners weekly. His City Sketches, Inc. is the umbrella entity that houses a production and event planning company, the radio network and NewUrbanJazz Hats.
Baldwin is the author of a book about the music industry, “You Better Ask Somebody / Staying On Top of Your Career in the ‘Friggin’ Music Business.”

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