The Salt Lake Tribune Says…Yule Swing!

December 22nd, 2008

Salt Lake Tribune - Dave Berger

If you're sick of Christmas music already, consider the ears of Anna Wilson (left) and Monty Powell, who have been listening to Christmas music since Valentine's Day. 

But, then again, what the part-time Utah residents have been listening to -- and writing, and recording, and mixing, and so on -- has been much better than anything you're hearing from any stop-motion animated TV series.

Wilson, with her producing and song-writing husband Powell, has put out one of the best Christmas albums of the year with "Yule Swing." She'll be drawing from that collection of 10 original jazz songs when she performs a benefit concert for the Park City Jazz Foundation tonight.

"When most artists make Christmas albums, they do covers," Wilson said. "['Yule Swing' is] Christmas music for people who want something fresh, new and different."

The brassy, swinging sounds are also different for the pair, who have made their name in country music. Most of the year they live in Nashville, writing country songs for other artists. Powell spent this past year writing for Rascal Flatts and Keith Urban, and Wilson wrote the hit 2008 single "All I Ever Wanted" for Chuck Wicks, boyfriend of Utahn Julianne Hough. She has also written songs recorded by Reba McEntire, Lee Ann Womack, Billy Ray Cyrus and Chris Cagle, while Powell has written songs recorded by Brooks & Dunn, Diamond Rio, Alabama and Tim McGraw).

As their success multiplied, Wilson and Powell -- the latter who had been skiing in Utah for two decades -- decided to buy a winter home near Snow Basin Resort two years ago. "We're ski bums in the winter," Powell said. "We try to spend most of the winter here, because we're guaranteed a white Christmas," Wilson said.

The pair have begun to spend more time in Utah, in part because Powell's daughter is a freshman at the University of Utah, and in part because they have begun to explore the other seasons. Wilson was one of the break-out performers of this summer's Park City Jazz Festival, said Kris Severson, executive director of the Park City Jazz Foundation. "Every year, it seems that someone rises above [most other performers]," Severson said. "She was 'it' this year."
After the festival, Severson and Powell went fly-fishing together, and they hatched the idea of Wilson performing a benefit concert. The foundation relies on concerts like these to aid its educational programs.

In the meantime, Wilson was working on her album, and the last thing she needed was a title, where she benefitted from Utah influences. The name -- "Yule Swing" -- occurred to her and her husband while they were hanging out on a local ski lift.

Sounds of Timeless Jazz

December 15th, 2008

YULE SWING!/Anna Wilson - Vocalist Anna Wilson unlocks her true musical potential on 10 ORIGINAL holiday compositions that capture the festive spirit of the season.  Inside this complete recording you'll find seamless integration of her vocals with such respected guest musicians as Rick Braun on "A House, A home" (For the Holidays)"  and rising country star Chuck Wicks on "Light Me Up," plus all the hit-making sounds, grooves and swinging sensations that will light up your own holiday events.  Wilson succeeds in writing classic songs with universal appeal that will sound fresh year after year and her voice is a joy in itself.

A very special Christmas list for fans of all musical genres

December 14th, 2008

By Brian Mansfield, Special for USA TODAY
Music critic Brian Mansfield picks some of his favorite holiday albums coming out this season.

CONTEMPORARY CHRISTMAS: A guide to new spins on seasonal songs

November 25th, 2008

By Jonathan Takiff  - Philadelphia Daily News

Local girl Anna Wilson earns kudos for dreaming up an all new and sassy set of holiday cheer, "Yule Swing!" (Transfer, B+). Drop the laser beam on the homey "Through Their Eyes," the smooth jazz "Wish" or hot and steamy "Mrs. Claus" and see what we mean.  ---- READ FULL ARTICLE

ALL MUSIC GUIDE – “Yule Swing!”

November 1st, 2008


by William Ruhlmann - READ FULL REVIEW

The title of Anna Wilson's third album, Yule Swing!, gives an accurate indication of its contents, which consist of seasonal music in big-band (and small-band) jazz arrangements. But without the subtitle that's written vertically in script up the right side of the cover, one might expect to hear the usual perennials. That subtitle reads, "A Collection of Original Holiday Songs.

Philly Fillies

October 21st, 2008

Some big league female talents are coming up with the hits! - By Jonathan Takiff  - Philadelphia Daily News

YULE LIKE HER: I had to scrub my vow to not play any Christams albums before November, so I could check out what Chester's gift to jazz vocalizing, ANNA WILSON, had to share on "Yule Swing!" (Transfer, A-).

And what a hoot it turned out to be, with original WIlson tunes and sophisticated, horn-and piano-flecked arrangementsthat reflect her love and mastery of classic-jazz pop.

Faves include the title track, which sounds like variations on the theme of Frank Sinatra's "Come Fly With Me"; Wilson's winning ballad gifts, "Wish" and "Through Their Eyes"; the bluesy, adults-only romp "Holiday Lovin' and the winking homage to a "Mrs. Claus" who's dressed in red and looking hot, hot, hot.

All About Jazz – “Yule Swing!

October 14th, 2008 - by Woodrow Wilkins

If Christmas is a time for giving, vocalist Anna Wilson scores a two-base hit with Yule Swing. Not only does she offer listeners the gift of holiday music, but she also contributes to a charitable cause: Habitat for Humanity.  READ MORE!