The formidable artistic gifts of both vocalist Elasea Douglas and contrabassist Sadiki Pierre – known together as Acute Inflections – are on full display on this exquisite traditional song, released in time to bring festive cheer to anyone who listens to it. There’s a kind of “composer’s” interpretation to this work [originally composed by Bryan Wells and Ron Mills] as the voice and bass duo breathe supple poetic like into this chestnut made famous in 1966 by Stevie Wonder.
It helps that Miss Douglas is an artist of the first order and that her instrument is lustrous, gorgeous and feather light. This enables her to imbue the simplest of phrases with a very special grace as she breathes warm life into the words and their meanings. This enables her to bring deep emotion and poetic qualities to the lyric. Her vocal begins with a slow opening movement, where every phrase is vibrantly sculpted and placed within the eloquent context of the music.
Mr Pierre meanwhile brings the full extent of his magnificent virtuosity to bear on this movement, underlining the lyric with a splendid performance con arco, matching the slow emotional pursuit being set up by the vocalist. Once the section reaches a crescendo both singer and bassist infuse the song with a wonderful swinging mode, juxtaposing festive colour and charm with joyful sweetness. Together this duo underlines their unique artistic presentation with an inventive, questing take on a famous Christmas song of hope.
Track – Someday at Christmas [music: Bryan Wells, lyrics: Ron Mills]
Personnel – Elasea Douglas: vocals; Sadiki Pierre: contrabass
Released – 2021
Label – Independent
Runtime – 4:26