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Acoustic guitarist Otis Read offers up an enjoyable acoustic straight-ahead jazz program of holiday favorites. The program swings along in a laid-back, cool, comfortable groove from start to finish. I wouldn’t call this “groundbreaking,” but it’s good. On some tunes, the band plays it fairly close to the melody, while others feature more adventurous improvization. Interestingly, the primary lead voice on the CD is that of saxophonist Bruce Abbott; the leader assumes a supporting role and rarely solos. Pianist Willie Myette contributes some nice solos and collaborated with Read on the arrangements.
Track Listing: Angels We Have Heard on High; Good King Wenseslas; The First Noel; Joy to the World; What Child is This/Greensleeves; Deck the Halls; While Shepherds Watch Their Flocks; We Three Kings; Silent Night; Bring a Torch, Jeannette Isabella/I Saw Three Ships; We Wish You a Merry Christmas; Hark! The Herald Angels Sing; Glory, Sing Glory; God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen; It Came Upon a Midnight Clear.