"I really hope you folks like this listen. There are some 'Jarreau-isms' that stretch the boundaries of 'traditional' a little bit, but it's all with the greatest respect and reverence. And it's still real approachable and fun." ~ Al Jarreau ~
Al Jarreau's "Christmas" is the latest addition to my Christmas music collection. It is his very first Christmas album. On his concise Liner Notes, he admitted that he had been "promising all his fans to record a Christmas album for decades and had also been promising his wife, Susan, the most Christmasy person he knows, way, way longer." I'm so glad that he finally kept his promise and recorded a lovely Christmas album last year for his fans to enjoy year after year for all the years to come.
The listeners are in for a real Christmas treat as Al Jarreau announces to the world that "Christmas Time Is Here." He will take you to "Winter Wonderland" and will warm your heart while he sings some of the best-loved Christmas carols such as "The Christmas Song," "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas," "White Christmas" and a lot more.
One of the many things to love about this recording is the well-blended voices of Take 6 as they join the multi-Grammy-winning-artist in rendering one of the best tracks, "I'll Be Home For Christmas."
Another reason to appreciate it is the element of cool jazz that Al Jarreau and the band infused on the traditional carols heard in "O Come All Ye Faithful," "Carol of the Bells" and "Hark The Herald Angels Sing."
One more thing to consider is the excellent musicianship of arranger/multi-instrumentalist Larry Williams (keyboards/clarinet/tenor sax/piano), Larry Goldings (organ), Chris Walker (bass), Mark Simmons (drums), Jo Turano (background vocals/piano/tenor sax), Lenny Castro (percussion), Michael O'Neill and Ross Bolton (guitar), from among others.
All things considered as to vocal style, musicianship, arrangements and material, this is one of the most enjoyable Christmas music I've ever heard in my entire listening journey. It is truly a listening delight. My ears are drawn to his unique and ingenious "Jarreau-isms" that he is stylistically famous for.
On Liner Notes, Al Jarreau quoted a line taken from his favorite movie, "A Christmas Carol," which happens to be the most popular Christmas story ever told. It is also the most remarkable and enduring classic from Charles Dickens, so I'm sharing it here...
"Merry Christmas, everybody! God bless us, every one. And God bless Tiny Tim."