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That Holiday Feelin'

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Album Review

One of the better Christmas jazz sets, Joe Williams is heard in quartets and quintets with pianist Norman Simmons, in several tender duets with pianist Ellis Larkins and backed by a horn section on a few tracks. It is nice to hear Williams' versions of such tunes as "Winter Wonderland," "Silent Night" and "The Christmas Song," but it's his interpretation of Thad Jones's "A Child Is Born" that takes honors.

Customer Reviews

An amazing Christmas classic

This amazing album combines classic Christmas music with Joe Williams’ melodic voice and jazz phrasing. Warm, mellow, and nostalgic without being overly sentimental, this album will provide the perfect background for your holiday dinners and get togethers, or may even be the centerpiece of a romantic evening. Most of the tracks are classics you will recognize, but the unique “A Child Is Born” is not to be missed. Even the somewhat corny “Kissing by the Mistletoe” stands up in the context of the whole album. Though I was familiar with most of these songs, I believe that Williams, who sadly passed away in 2005, can be said to express the quintessential versions of each of these Christmas classics. “That Holiday Feelin’” is not to be missed!


Born: December 12, 1918 in Cordele, GA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Joe Williams was the last great big-band singer, a smooth baritone who graced the rejuvenated Count Basie Orchestra during the 1950s and captivated audiences well into the '90s. Born in Georgia, he moved to Chicago with his grandmother at the age of three. Reunited with his mother, she taught him to play the piano and took him to the symphony. Though tuberculosis slowed him down as a teenager, Williams began performing at social events and formed his own gospel vocal quartet, the Jubilee Boys. By...
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That Holiday Feelin', Joe Williams
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