Since it's the day after Thanksgiving and most of you are already into the Christmas spirit (we got snow in Albuquerque yesterday!), I thought it would be appropriate to list my top 5 favorite Christmas records.
Harry Connick Jr - When My Heart Finds Christmas (iTunes)
This record has some classic Harry C. arrangements with his usual big band flare that will put you in the Christmas mood. My favorites are Ave Maria, Santa Claus is Comin' to Town, and I Pray on Christmas.
Michael W. Smith - Christmas
This record was released like 20 years ago, but still has an enduring quality to this day. He leaves the power pop behind on this one and leans toward more of a classical feel which I think he pulls off amazingly well (even though I don't know jack about classical music). He has since released two other Christmas records which I think you could safely steer clear of, but this one is great and a must have. It features the now Christmas classic, All is Well.
Amy Grant - Home for Christmas
I wanted to keep this one off, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. It's just a great record. You can't deny it.
Vince Guaraldi Trio - A Charlie Brown Christmas
What is more festive than Charlie Brown Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas specials? For me this music just brings up all those Christmas warm fuzzies that I like to make fun of, but deep down really like.
Kevin Max - O Holy Night
I know, I know...You are thinking "Wasn't he in the group DC Talk?" Yes he was, but this music is as far from DC Talk as you can get. It lands squarely in contemporary classical and jazz and does it quite well. Kevin Max, in my humble (but correct :)) opinion, is one of the greatest singers on the face of the planet and match that with these amazing arrangements of Christmas classics and you can't go wrong.