Friday, November 23, 2007

Top 5 Favorite Christmas Records

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.


Anonymous said...

Cool on the MWS Christmas. I'm surprised you like that. I think we had that around our first Christmas together and every year now, it's tradition for us to play that while we decorate the tree. As well, we always have sing "In Excelcis De_____Yo (yo yo yo yo) if you ever noticed the delay on Michael after the cut off) that and of course "Loose Pennies."

His new Christmas CD is ALL schmaltz - like a Disney Christmas. At least after my first listen anyway. I really couldn't listen to it again.

Rachel Bardwell said...

"Richard Carpenter is an excellent arranger. Their Christmas album is AWESOME!" -Aaron Adam, as recorded in the quote book.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE Kevin Max's Holy Night, its awesome and amazing and oh yes, wonderful.

jc said...

Amazon's MP3 Download service is cheaper. 89 cents per song.
Isn't iTunes 99 cents per song?

Anonymous said...

3 Things Zack:

Charlie Brown needs to be #1

You gotta try Chris Rice's 'Living Room Sessions - Christmas' if you dig instrumental Christmas music

Thanks for the tip on K-Max. I gave up on him after his first solo project... I'm going to give the Christmas CD a try.

Clint said...

Z, have you ever listened to Mercy Me's christmas album? It is pretty ligit, in my humble and probably slightly tone deaf opinion.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jazz-man,

I second the Carpenter's Christmas vote. It's a standard at our house. Also, James Taylor has a new one out that is good. ~ kelly ~