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CD REVIEW: Sandy Foster – ‘Spruce it up’
By Francesco Emmanuel - 11/24/2006 - 05:56 PM EST

Artist: Sandy Foster
Album: ‘Spruce it up’
CD Review: I am rather happy to be doing a review for this latest CD by Sandy Foster, last year I had the honor of reviewing her third album ‘Marooned’ which was simply a smooth jazz masterpiece. And now, she has recorded a Christmas album.

Spruce it up’ has arrived just in time for the holiday season, it features a few classics like ‘The First Noel’, ‘Joy to the World’ and ‘I’ll be Home for Christmas’ and songs written by Sandy herself including the title track and album opener ‘Spruce It up’, ‘Christmas Crossmas’ and ‘Snow Wonder I love You’.

I’m even more convinced now that Sandy is a certified jazz crooner, one of the finest in her field, her voice is soft and smooth, and she has such great tone and control. And because of that the songs here have a light-hearted feel, and really do bring out the joy of Christmas.

The album starts off swinging with the title track, a few nice key changes between the chorus and verses, a finger-snapping piano solo intermingled with guitar, with Sandy singing her heart and soul away.

‘The First Noel’ has a graceful flute line and an unusual drum pattern that builds momentum throughout the song; it adds new life to a timeless favorite. Sandy holds out the long notes here with finesse and feel.

The guitar solo that follows Sandy’s flawless and at times gut-felt singing in ‘Joy to the World’ is certainly superbly executed, when it finishes, Sandy just picks right back up where she left off. The song has this funky/ jazz timing to it, the use of organ dictates the vibe of this one for sure.

Frosty the Snowman’ has a harmonious piano solo in the bridge. The musicians here are definitely top-notch. ‘When Lights are lit on Christmas Eve’ has a Latin-jazz flavor, with a sizzling flute solo and standard piano rhythm that has become the signature in Latin jazz pieces. It is short and sweet.

The list of seasoned musicians who play with Sandy time and again are as follows:
Kevin Andrews (flute/drums), Wes Yaciuk (guitar), Matt Day (piano) and Glenn Durksen (upright bass). These guys know their stuff.

Sandy’s liner notes displays that she is an artist who realizes how much one’s life-work and music are intertwined, and that life is not measured by what we own, but who we have in our lives and what we do with our time, for the benefit of all around us. She’s also one who acknowledges the presence of God in her life and music career.

She has listed her favorite charity also, so when you have a chance, please check out Global Neighbors Canada at

It is noteworthy to mention that this is Sandy’s fourth album in four years; previously she has released ‘Purplexed’ 2003; ‘Orangify’ 2004 and ‘Marooned’ 2005. Each has garnered critical acclaim and nominations from various jazz associations across Canada and North America. ‘Marooned’ won the 2006 GMA Covenant. So it is fair to say that she’s one busy jazz artist.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Sandy has another album in mind for 2007, and I cannot wait to hear what this great jazz singer will do next. If you are looking for a new Christmas album, then might I ask you to ‘Spruce it up’ with Sandy Foster.


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