Friday, December 13, 2013

Christmas Album Favs -- First Six

Christmas music is a big joy of the season. I'm always watching out for new albums, but get out the old ones every year, too. My box of CDs grows with the years and it is officially the holiday when the box is unearthed from its year round hiding place.

John Denver and the Muppets did "A Christmas Together" in the early 1980's. There's a great version of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" on this album and the "Silent Night" is one of my favs. I even have the piano music for this album and enjoy playing it every year.

Sting's very medieval sounding "If On A Winter's Night" brings me back to my days in high school madrigals when the group of us would carol with our luscious 8 part harmonies. This album is almost mystical and kind of edgy. It counters all of the sweet and syrupy stuff that is holiday music these days.

Straight No Chaser, an a cappella group from Indiana, has several holiday CDs. I listen to "Christmas Cheers" and enjoy the tight harmonies.

Amy Grant's "A Christmas Album" is plop in the middle of the 1980's Christian music scene, but her "Tennessee Christmas" always reminds me of my Memphis sister and her family. It can be a tear jerker for me. Yes, it can.

Chris Botti's silver sounding trumpet shines in his album, "December." Mellow, very mellow, and with a jazz touch. Listen to "Winter Wonderland" on this one.

Then there's Tony Bennett's Christmas album, "Snowfall." He sings with such exquisite diction, so full of soft vowels and consonants that flow that you hardly miss a word. Tony is a big favorite of mine and this album does not disappoint. "White Christmas" has some great trumpet behind Tony's voice, too.

I haven't listed these in any order of preference. Christmas is Christmas, and music is music.

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