Al Jarreau - Christmas (2008)

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Al Jarreau - Christmas (2008)

Al Jarreau - Christmas (2008)
EAC | FLAC | Tracks (Cue&Log) ~ 344 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 132 Mb | Scans included
Holidays, Vocal Jazz, Crossover Jazz | Label: Rhino | # R2 512527 | 00:54:10


After signing with Reprise in 1975, Al Jarreau has become a master of both studio and stage. He is one of the most exciting and critically acclaimed performers of our time. This recordingis his first-ever holiday album. Christmas includes the singer's disctinctive vocal spin on a dozen yuletide classics.

Finally, an Al Jarreau Christmas CD, and it was worth the wait. He has never sounded better and this CD is a winner from beginning to end. White Christmas, Carol of the Bells, Christmas Time is Here, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, in fact all 13 songs, are enriched by Jarreau's vocal arrangements. Some Christmas CD's are haphazardly constructed and little more than last-minute conglomerations designed to make all involved a few fast bucks, but this creation is finely crafted and lovingly created. The musical arrangements are first rate and Rhino CDs always sound crystal clear. For Jarreau lovers and for jazz lovers, this CD is a gift.

A couple of highlights - I'll be home for Christmas with Take 6 was a surprise. Jarreau's unfettered vocal riffs play perfectly against the structured harmonies of Take 6. I wondered how the two different styles would mesh together, and the result is perfection. And, Gloria in Excelsis places Jarreau in a gospel-like setting and the combination is magic. If you love Jarreau's voice, owning this CD is an absolute must.

Review by M. Hill, Amazon.com

If ever there was a singer suited for a holiday album it was Al Jarreau, whose friendly, honeyed croon always felt warm and welcoming. Those traits are evident on his 2008 seasonal album Christmas but so are his scatting roots, perhaps a little bit too much so for this to be the kind of soothing soundtrack to a Christmas party that it might initially seem to be, particularly as the first section of the album is loaded with just a little bit too much syncopation and swing. As Christmas rolls on, things settle down into a smooth quiet storm groove, never pushing too hard on either the vocal or arrangement front, which is a bit of a relief after the slightly overcooked first half. This back-end - containing a silken "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," a light "The Little Christmas Tree" and a mildly funky "Gloria in Excelsis" - is what Jarreau fans would hope, even expect, from an Al Jarreau Christmas album and it's the reason to give this a seasonal spin.

Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Allmusic.com

Al Jarreau's "Christmas" is a delightful surprise for anyone who has followed his music career. On this album Al collaborates with some of the best contemporary arrangers, including Larry Williams and Jorge Calandrelli, to deliver a smooth jazz mix of holiday standards. Listen out for "Winter Wonderland"; "Hark The Herald Angels Sing"; "White Christmas"; and "I'll Be Home For Christmas". "Some Children See Him" (a song penned by Alfred Burt and Wihla Hutson) is fast becoming one of my holiday favourites. I first heard it on the "Christmas With Maureen McGovern" album; and for me it had the instant "ZING" factor. I have since heard the sublimely moving James Taylor/Dave Grusin arrangement; and have now just experienced Al Jarreau's take. It is uniquely his own. Another arrangement that tugs at the heartstrings. "The Little Christmas Tree" is a song I've not heard before - but I like it. I like it a lot!!!! Fans of Al's style will LOVE this album!!!!

Review by aussietvhobbyist, Amazon.com

Al Jarreau - Christmas (2008)


Tracklist:

01. Winter Wonderland (4:21)
02. Hark The Herald Angels Sing (3:24)
03. White Christmas (5:50)
04. Interlude: By My Christmas Tree (0:29)
05. Carol Of The Bells (4:22)
06. O Come All Ye Faithful (4:19)
07. The Christmas Song- (4:55)
08. I'll Be Home For Christmas (3:44)
09. Gloria In Excelsis (4:36)
10. Christmas Time Is Here (4:27)
11. Have Sourself A Merry Little Christmas (6:02)
12. Some Children See Him (4:10)
13. The Little Christmas Tree (3:00)
14. Up On The Housetop (0:30)


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