Thursday, December 4, 2014

Another view: More 2014 Christmas albums

My colleague Robert Kinsler covered some different holiday music titles than I did. Check them out below plus other music news at:

Artist: Jamey Johnson
Title: The Christmas Song (Big Gassed Records) You might like if you enjoy: Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings
Tell me more: Country singer-songwriter Jamey Johnson packs plenty of punch in his five-song EP “The Christmas Song.” Armed with his resonant baritone vocals and freewheeling approach, the collection includes a softhearted version of Mel Torme’s “The Christmas Song,” swinging “Mele Kalikimaka” (featuring the Secret Sisters) and an original country-western waltz “South Alabam Christmas.”

Artist: Idina Menzel
Title: Holiday Wishes (Warner Bros.) You might like if you enjoy: Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand, Idina Menzel
Tell me more: Broadway singer Idina Menzel’s “Holiday Wishes” finds the Tony Award-winning star lending her formidable soprano to a mix of both fun and touching Christmastime favorites. Singing with power as well as emotional depth, Menzel’s renditions of the playful “Baby It’s Cold Outside (a duet with Michael Bublé) and “Holly Jolly Christmas” are the perfect counterpoint to “Do You Hear What I Hear,” “December Prayer” (a new song co-written by Menzel) and “Silent Night.” An exclusive Target edition of “Holiday Wishes” features two bonus tracks.

Artist: Renée Fleming
Title: Christmas in New York (Universal Music Classics) You might like if you enjoy: Renée Fleming, Kiri Te Kanawa, Rufus Wainwright
Tell me more: With an impressive cast of supporting players including trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and Chris Botti, jazz vocalist Kurt Elling and singer Rufus Wainwright, legendary opera singer Renée Fleming’s takes listeners to New York to celebrate the holidays. The powerful “In the Bleak Midwinger” (a duet with Wainwright), jazzy “Winter Wonderland” and “Silver Bells” (a sterling duet with Broadway singer Kelli O’Hara) are among the highlights on the 13-track collection. Information: 

Artists: Dave Koz & Friends
Title: The 25th of December (Concord Music Group) You might like if you enjoy: Dave Koz, Johnny Mathis, Trombone Shorty
Tell me more: Smooth jazz saxophonist has gathered a who’s who of pop and jazz artists on his latest holiday music collection “The 25th of December.” A warm instrumental version of “The First Noel,” a swinging “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” featuring the great Johnny Mathis (who at 79 still sounds terrific), and a poignant “O Holy Night” featuring singer-guitarist Jonathan Butler are among the standouts. Information: or

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