Irvin Mayfield Wants Clarity for Christmas

Musically, Irvin Mayfield often leaves no doubt of his talent, but A New Orleans Creole Christmas by Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse is a pleasingly modest EP. He’s all over the recording, but the eight songs are far more about the communal spirit of the season than Mayfield’s ambition. The version of “O Tannenbaum” is firmly in the traditional jazz voice, but all of the arrangements have a clear sense of the city.