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Album Review

If ever there was a singer suited for a holiday album it was Al Jarreau, whose friendly, honeyed croon always felt warm and welcoming. Those traits are evident on his 2008 seasonal album Christmas but so are his scatting roots, perhaps a little bit too much so for this to be the kind of soothing soundtrack to a Christmas party that it might initially seem to be, particularly as the first section of the album is loaded with just a little bit too much syncopation and swing. As Christmas rolls on, things settle down into a smooth quiet storm groove, never pushing too hard on either the vocal or arrangement front, which is a bit of a relief after the slightly overcooked first half. This back-end — containing a silken "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," a light "The Little Christmas Tree" and a mildly funky "Gloria in Excelsis" — is what Jarreau fans would hope, even expect, from an Al Jarreau Christmas album and it's the reason to give this a seasonal spin.

Customer Reviews

Good things happen to those who wait.

Well, it is about time Jarreau produces his first holiday recording! And it was worh the wait! His voice always makes me happy. So the combination of Jarreau and Christmas is Heaven sent! This is a must have for the holidays. Jarreau brings a new fresh twist to 15 classics. Enjoy!

It Was Worth The Wait

Al Jarreau had been featured on a number of label projects regarding Christmas and this is his very first Christmas cd of his own. Songs recorded by Al on other projects are "Silent Night," "Celebrate Me Home," "Christmas Morning," and "Peggy Virginia" which all would have fit here to hone his recordings but no matter, those songs are available here on iTunes. This cd is pure Al complete with his playfulness and modulation improvs and all the songs and smooth jazz arrangements work well with his Jarreauisms and is a treat for fans of Al and those who want a diversion from the usual holiday fare of carols performed straight-forward with adhesion to the arrangements and no personality. Even with it's jazz fusion arrangements this cd is timeless.

Al, what took you so long?

This is, in my opinon one of the best Christmas albums made. Right up there with Nat Cole, Vince Guaraldi, Frank and any other great singer you can think of. A must for your Christmas collection.


Born: March 12, 1940 in Milwaukee, WI

Genre: Jazz

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

The only vocalist in history to net Grammy Awards in three different categories (jazz, pop, and R&B, respectively), Al Jarreau was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on March 12, 1940. The son of a vicar, he earned his first performing experience singing in the church choir. After receiving his master's degree in psychology, Jarreau pursued a career as a social worker, but eventually he decided to relocate to Los Angeles and try his hand in show business, playing small clubs throughout the West Coast....
Full Bio
Christmas, Al Jarreau
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Customer Ratings