"Harry for the Holidays" is more jazz oriented than Harry Connick, Jr's previous holiday album ten years ago, which is fine because it plays to his strengths and makes this album stand out from the competition a bit more. Connick does the arranging, the orchestrations, and conducts the big band, while taking his turn at playing the piano, bass, and drums. Oh, and he sings the songs too. It certainly is nice to see that all the promise he showed when he was a kid that CBS did a feature store on has come true. This one is not going to be to everybody’s tastes, but for those who have such leanings this one is going to be a tasty holiday treat.
In staying true to his jazz roots, Connick actually comes up with some really new arrangements on some Christmas classics, such as "Frosty the Snowman," "Santa Clause Is Coming to Town," "Silver Bells," and even "Hark the Herald Angels Sing." Of all the hats he wears for this 2003 album it is the arranger that really stands out. The end product might not be to your taste, but nobody is going to accuse Harry Connick, Jr. of taking the safe route on a lot of these songs. As a singer the best track on the album is exactly the one you would expect it to be for his crooning vocal style, "I'll Be Home for Christmas" (and the piano solo is pretty good too). Which reminds me, there is one more hat on Harry's head this holiday: he wrote a quartet of these sixteen songs, including "Nothin' New for New Year."