“If you are the sort of person who needs a decent pile of Christmas music to hear over the holidays, yet balk at the same old songs done the usual way, there are alternatives. I have been listening to a review copy of something that might just be the thing.
It's singer Irene Nachreiner and her CD A Hot and Spicy Christmas (Turquoise Water 3657). The arrangements have a Latin flavor--nylon-stringed guitar, marimba, light Latin percussion, etc. I especially like the violinist-fiddler here. The arrangements are quite simple, earnestly lively and non-cliche. Irene has a kind of deadpan vocal delivery, unpretentious, artless.
It's so straightforward and direct that it put me in a good mindset, which for the holidays is so important. This is music to counteract the revulsion you may be experiencing with all the goody-grabbing greed that a Black Friday promotion blast encourages. And we need to get through that. Irene's music helps. Very much so.
— Gapplegate * * Music
“Are you in the Christmas spirit? Here is a different way to get into the festivities. Take a listen to A HOT AND SPICY CHRISTMAS, the new CD by Irene Nachreiner with Her Latin Jazz Band. This is not same-old, same-old. This album does not sound like any other seasonal CD in your collection. First it is acoustic, gentle, Latin-jazz-world-fusion vocal music. Second, there are quite a few Christmas carols (centuries-old) here that I guarantee you have not heard before. Third, the few well-known standards you will barely recognize because of the new arrangements. What this adds up to is a fresh-sounding Christmas recording, not like all the others you have heard for the past many decades. This one is different, invigorating and just plain fun. This is a great new holiday CD. And hurry and check it out, because Christmas is just around the corner. Happy holidays. ***** 5 Star Rating”
— Review Centre
“John Shelton Ivany's Top CDs of the Week
Syndicated to more than 200 newspapers nationwide:
"A Hot & Spicy Christmas" - Irene Nachreiner with Her Latin Jazz Band
— Shelton Ivany Top CD's of the Week
““A Hot and Spicy Christmas didn't sound like any other holiday recording. What a refreshing idea!! With the Latin-jazz-world-fusion vocals, acoustic-laced classic carols and remixes in her own style, this is better than a cup of hot cocoa on a cold night. Better yet, this IS a cup of hot cocoa, aromatic, warm to the lips as it makes you feel good inside. Just a really good CD. Happy Holidays!”
Music Beyond Words” show on the commercial jazz station KKHI, Denver, Colorado
“There are several ways to have “A Hot and Spicy Christmas.” You can have a meal of tamales, date a Latin lady, drink some hot mulled spiced cider, or listen to Irene Nachreiner’s album called A Hot and Spicy Christmas.
Or maybe you should do all of the above this year. But zeroing in on the music side of Christmas, Irene has come up with a delectable new recording that certainly takes Latin music AND Christmas music in new directions.
The whole album is a lot of fun, especially since it does not sound like all the standard Christmas albums that come pouring out each year. The back cover shows a wreath made out of red chili peppers. I don’t think my stomach can take that. I’ll stick to some Christmas pudding or egg nog, but I will plop this CD in the player at every party this year and wait for the inevitable reaction: “That’s interesting music. What is it that we’re listening to?”
“Are you ready to hear a Christmas album unlike any other in your CD collection or played incessantly on the radio each year? I have stumbled across the most distinctive, left-field, completely-different Christmas CD ever recorded. I am talking about an album titled A HOT AND SPICY CHRISTMAS by singer Irene Nachreiner backed by Her Latin Jazz Band. It is a little jazzy, a little Latin-y and very refreshing to listen to because it sounds so different.
— Buzz Music
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Song!
This review is for: The Babe of Bethlehem (MP3 Download)
That is a great song! The trumpet and piano opening is indicative of a Christmas celebration south of the border in Mexico. The slightly mariachi-esque composition still contains a merry, folkish melody with classic vocals more in-line with the pop-standards of the 1930s or 40s. The flute sounds, swift piano playing, and trumpet accompaniment signify the merriment of the Babe's birth in Bethlehem.”
Inside World Music
"Jazz Artist of the Year" nominee
LA MUSIC AWARDS
“Irene and Her Latin Jazz Band interpret 14 familiar songs though this project, capturing the essence of Rio de Janeiro in happy times. Their's is a lightweight treatment that lets singer and band stroll effortlessly around seasonal flower beds and through leisure-time celebrations.”
L.A. JAZZ SCENE
“...a sensuous album!
This outstanding album is available at www.IreneSings.com and www.Cdbaby.com, along with several digital download locations. A most enjoyable event!
“If your idea of heaven is Brazilian music of he bossa nova vein, you've just passed through Saint Peter's gates with Summer Samba. Sweet-voiced Irene Nachreiner sways through a cornucopia of '60s samba with a slick, light and glossy band.”
All About Jazz
“Irene's vocals dance over the Latin rhythms, adding a warm sensuality that draws the listener in, inviting them onto that golden beach and relaxing with long cold drinks.”
— THE BORDERLAND, UK