The hugely talented Harry Connick Jr. has just released his third Seasonal album and like the previous two, he adopts his usual cool and laid-back approach with a punchy big band or string orchestra on hand to match his off-the-wall interpretations of well-loved Christmas standards like JINGLE BELLS and IT'S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS, with the hymn OH COME ALL YE FAITHFUL given a gentle but faster tempo than normal and jazzy piano middle and end sections between his vocal.
However, having previously exhausted the popular Festive catalogue, Harry adds four of his own compositions with the album's title WHAT A NIGHT! plus CHRISTMAS DAY and SANTARRIFIC (with Lucien Barbarin) particularly catchy numbers. PLEASE COME HOME FOR CHRISTMAS, a bluesy opus, contrasts well with the familiar WINTER WONDERLAND which has the added attraction of having Harry's eleven year old daughter, Sarah Kate on board to share their charming father-daughter duet with playful banter adding extra bounce to the upbeat proceedings. The instrumental DANCE OF THE SUGARPLUM FAIRIES plays as a funky exercise, with Kim Burrell joining Harry for LET THERE BE PEACE ON EARTH and SONG FOR THE HOPEFUL. With ZAT YOU SANTA CLAUS and WE THREE KINGS also on the Christmas menu, this album is recommended to all who prefer their sentiment laced with a distinctive jazzy flavour.