A lot of good cheer and plenty of little children ran through the house during the "Redd Christmas" show at Blues Alley Tuesday night. Hosted by the brothers Redd--vibist Chuck and pianist Robert--the annual event drew a family crowd, with even the Georgetown club's employees bringing their kids to enjoy the swinging holiday music.
Smart move, too, since this was a Christmas show for all ages, full of seasonal themes that were neatly and sometimes whimsically expanded on by a fine quartet consisting of the Redd brothers, bassist Tommy Cecil and drummer Tony Martucci.
Beginning with "Winter Wonderland," the Redds took turns wrapping ribbons of bright melody around pieces adroitly accented by the rhythm section. The arrangements allowed for plenty of solo space, so that Cecil and Martucci were able to shine as well, and a bossa nova treatment of "I'll Be Home for Christmas" was a good example of how the quartet managed to refresh some dogeared tunes.
Not all of the music was necessarily tied to the holiday season. A shimmering, vibes-lit arrangement of "Moonlight in Vermont" easily ranked among the evening's highlights.
Also welcome were cameos by two guests--alto saxophonist Marty Nau and pianist Bob Diener--whose performances were distinguished by soulful tones and harmonic sophistication.