Before you simply scroll past to say, "Oh boy, another Christmas recording," stop. This one is different, hip and fun. If you remember the classic done by The Manhattan Transfer years ago, which you may have well memorized by now, you are ready for another one.
"I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm," the set's opener, will not (thankfully) conjure up Les Brown. "Fool For Yule" is entertaining, wry, and, in its way, a bit, arch. With yet another cool vibes solo. UVJQ play "Christmas Time is Here" straight, so Charlie Brown will not be scandalized. And nice solos by Alan Blackman and Max Murray to keep you paying attention, and to remind you that Vince Guaraldi wrote music you can improvise on. "Silent Night" is done on an Irish Bouzouki. The song is most emphatically not done tongue in cheek. "St. Ita's Vision" written by Samuel Barber is completely novel, and is beautifully executed. "L'Amour Nous Entoure Ce Soir" may have something to do with Joyeaux Noel, maybe. "It Doesn't Feel Like Christmas" is a tune that anyone over a certain age can appreciate, in its way not sad, but wiser. If there is an adult Christmas song, this is it. Did you know "Winter Wonderland" has a verse? It's here, and a scat chorus that recalls Jon Hendricks.
"Santa Dear, Where's Mine?" Oh, boy. Santa Baby, it's cold outside. Worth the price of admission alone.
Amahl and the Night Visitors this is not, for sure. But something for everyone here. Even "The Christmas Song" for purists.
I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm; Fool For Yule; Christmas Time is Here; Winter Wonderland; Whisper;
L'Amour Nous Entoure Ce Soir; The Christmas Song; Santa Dear Where's Mine; St. Ita's Vision; It Doesn't Feel
Like Christmas; Silent Night.