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Album Review

A mix of traditional and pop Christmas favorites along the lines of the Three Tenors' holiday album, Our Favorite Things: Christmas in Vienna features solo and ensemble performances from Tony Bennett, Placido Domingo, Charlotte Church, and Vanessa Williams. For the most part, these singers' very different sounds blend harmoniously, particularly on "I Saw Three Ships," "Joy to the World," and the album's penultimate of "Silent Night," on which all four vocalists share the verses. Bennett's renditions of "The Christmas Song" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" are warmly sophisticated, as usual; Domingo's highlights include "Hijo de Dios" and "Jesus de Nazareth"; Williams' soulful vocals enliven "Do You Hear What I Hear"; and Church's crystalline voice is a perfect match for "Silent Night." Our Favorite Things' ultra-traditional, orchestral arrangements manage to sound timeless instead of dated, though at times they sound somewhat schmaltzy instead of sophisticated. Nevertheless, the album is a pleasantly mellow, refined collection of holiday standards by new and old traditionalists.


Born: 03 August 1926 in New York, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Tony Bennett's career has enjoyed three distinct phases, each of them very successful. In the early '50s, he scored a series of major hits that made him one of the most popular recording artists of the time. In the early '60s, he mounted a comeback as more of an adult-album seller. And from the mid-'80s on, he achieved renewed popularity with generations of listeners who hadn't been born when he first appeared. This, however, defines Bennett more in terms of marketing than music. He would probably...
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