That’s the Spirit

“That’s the Spirit” has 14 cuts of the most beautiful Christmas songs you’ll ever hear, but it doesn’t sound like those you’ve heard before.  This CD is packed with jazz creativity, passion, and fun as well as terrific world-class musicians, top-quality production, and unique arrangements!
























The Jazz Brunch
                                            Suzanne Carroll
                            101.5 fm * The River

To jazz lovers everywhere!

My name is Suzanne Carroll, I am the producer and host of a popular jazz radio program in Toledo, Ohio called The Jazz Brunch, which airs Sunday mornings on WRVF, 101.5 The River.

I have been playing cuts from Cynthia Kaay Bennett’s first CD titled “Wish I Knew” for some time on my program, as my listeners simply love the sound of her voice.  She has been on my show live for several interviews when in our area, I have heard her perform live, and she is a truly delightful performer.

Recently she gave me an upfront copy of her holiday release titled “That’s the Spirit”, and I was simply blown away.  As the program director for my show I am always searching for those special sounds, and I knew I had found the CD that would make my show just perfect this holiday season!!

The arrangements, the musicians, the song choices, and of course the beautiful pure sound of Cynthia’s voice will mesmerize you as it did me.  Pop it in your CD player and hear for yourself.

Cynthia Kaay Bennett’s new holiday CD titled “That’s the Spirit” is a truly amazing jazz product and delightful Christmas classic that deserves your attention.  My listeners are going to love it, and I know you will too!

                                                Happy Listening – Happy Holidays!

                                                             Suzanne Carroll

                                       The Jazz Brunch * WRVF 101.5 The River


Jazz Views, UK

Cynthia Kaay Bennett Review 
Artist: Cynthia Kaay Bennett 
Title: That's The Spirit 
Label: Cara Mia Music - a division of Cynthia Kaay Enterprises - CP2003
Available through her Website:
Personnel: Cynthia Kaay Bennett ( vocals )  Catherine Styron Marx ( pno / kyd ) Andy Reiss ( gtr ) Charlie Chadwick 
( bass ) Bob Mater ( drs / perc )

Cynthia Kaay Bennett is a completely new name to me but I am certainly pleased to have made her acquaintance through this CD. She began her music career at an early age and studied at Ohio State University receiving her Master's degree. Whilst working full time she performed in clubs and at festivals.  After moving to Nashville in 1997 she began experimenting with different styles of music. I would not normally go out of my way to listen to a whole CD of seasonal songs but in this case I would make an exception.  This CD is made up of a selection of fairly well known seasonal songs and some that are new to me but well worth hearing.

The first track on the CD, "Mary, Did You Know" has a religious theme and has some strong guitar backing from Andy Reiss and is sung with feeling by Miss Bennett who has a delightful pure voice lacking in any annoying mannerisms.  Frank Loesser's "What Are You Doing New Years Eve" is a track I keep returning to; it's such a good song and is sung so well with some cracking piano by Catherine Styron Marx. Ringing the changes "Party for Santa Claus" has a lilting West Indian feel with appropriate backing. "I Pray on Christmas" is Miss Bennett in gospel mode.  She appears to be able to find the right approach whatever type of song she chooses.  We are in soul territory with "The Spirit of Christmas" with wailing guitar and organ backing, but things calm down for an appropriate reading of "Silent Night". "I Bought You A Plastic Star for Your Aluminum Tree" is great fun with fine piano and guitar with the singer enjoying herself.   There is the obligatory "The Christmas Song" and "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas", but every track is a gem and chosen with care. 

What can I say about Cynthia Kaay Bennett?   Well, she has a marvelous singing voice and uses it to great effect; she certainly deserves greater exposure.  There are lesser singers about who are getting a lot of attention and she should be up there amongst them. If you want to buy yourself an early Christmas present you couldn't do better than to buy this CD.

Reviewed by Roy Booth



Featured Artist: Cynthia Kaay Bennett

CD Title: That's The Spirit

Year: 2003

Record Label: Cara Mia Music

Style: Jazz Vocals

Musicians: Cynthia Kaay Bennett (vocals); Catherine Styron Marx (piano, keyboards); Andy Reiss (guitar); Charlie Chadwick (bass); Bob Mater (drums).

Review: Gosh! Is it that time of the year already? Nashville singer, Cynthia Kaay Bennett unveiled her new Christmas CD on October 1st. Having reviewed Cynthia's debut album Wish I Knew a couple of years ago, I'm not surprised that this release is nothing less than great.

Ms. Bennett's approach to this eclectic mix can be best described as warm and classy. Her personal arrangement of the venerable Silent Night is stunning. I played it three times! Cynthia's warm attack is equally sympathetic on Gordon Lightfoot's beautiful Song For a Winter's Night.

Jazz fans will ask "So where's the Jazz?". I'll tell you there's plenty on this CD. Bennett is able to scat in fine fashion and she swings out in style on I Pray On Christmas, That Spirit Of Christmas and others. The yuletide classics have not been forgotten. Mel Torme's Christmas Song, What Are You Doing New Years Eve and Johnny Moore's Merry Christmas Baby receive a fresh but reverent treatment by the Nashville chanteuse.

Cynthia Kaay Bennett retains the top-notch musicians who appeared on her debut release in 2001. Guitarist Andy Reiss and bassist Charlie Chadwick interact perfectly with Bennett's jazzy attitude. Pianist, Catherine Styron Marx is a particular favorite of mine. She is a Nashville studio player who has recorded with Ronnie Milsap, Sharon Moore and many others. Catherine swings incessantly on this shakin' Christmas album.

You've heard it all when Cynthia closes with the most touching version of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. The lady delivers some very pretty notes. That's The Spirit will get a lot of play around our house this year.

Tracks: Mary, Did You Know; What Are You Doing New Years Eve; A Party For Santa Claus; Breath Of Heaven; I Pray On Christmas; Song For A Winter's Night; That Spirit Of Christmas; Silent Night; I Bought You a Plastic Star For Your Aluminum Tree; Our First Christmas; Merry Christmas Baby; The Christmas Song; Shake Hands With Santa Claus; Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

Reviewed by: Richard Bourcier