Recommended Music - December 2022. Four album covers are featured.

Recommended Music – December 2022

I Dream of Christmas / Norah Jones 

Norah Jones took her time in releasing a full holiday project, but it is well worth the wait. On I Dream of Christmas, Jones recreates holiday classics, adding her signature cool touch to “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “Blue Christmas,” but unexpected fare such as “Christmas Don’t Be Late,” popularized by Alvin & the Chipmunks. Jones adds some original entries as well, namely “Christmas Calling (Jolly Jones),” which harkens back to the era of the 60’s when holiday songs were unabashedly jazzy, merry and swinging. Other highlights include “A Holiday with You” and “Christmas Glow.” 
Also available on Hoopla. 

Christmas Party / The Monkees 

As with their previous LP Good Times, then-remaining members Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork collaborated with some of their musical descendants to create something a Christmas album they could be proud of, unlike some of the more blatant cash grabs we’ve seen in the past. The late Adam Schlesinger (Fountains of Wayne) produced the album and co-wrote “House of Broken Gingerbread,” Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo penned “What Would Santa Do,” and Andy Partridge of XTC contributed “Unwrap You at Christmas.” The band also covers classics such as “Wonderful Christmastime” and “Jesus Christ,” a lovely gem from beloved power pop band Big Star. The project inadvertently serves as a beautiful swan song for the band and reminds fans of all the joy the band brought to the world. 
Also available on Hoopla. 


The Beautiful Day: Kurt Elling Sings Christmas / Kurt Elling 

The Grammy award-winning jazz vocalist offers a thoughtful, all-encompassing holiday record; something that can reach everyone. The Beautiful Day showcases Elling’s warm baritone over a suite of well-curated tunes for the season. Classics such as “Little Drummer Boy and “We Three Kings” are presented in inventive new arrangements. Elling includes some less popular songs that are still emotionally impactful, like the album closer (and title track), which is sourced from Leslie Bricusse’s score from the 1970 musical film, Scrooge. Elling also includes an original, “The Michigan Farm,” working with a melody from Norwegian composer Edvard Greig. This is an amazing album to include in your holiday music collection. 


Snow Waltz / Lindsey Stirling 

Acclaimed violinist releases the follow up to her first holiday album, 2017’s Warmer in the Winter. Filled with whimsy, cinematic elements and her customary complex arrangements, Stirling continues to develop a style and presentation that is solely her own. Highlights include a rollicking, Celtic-like version of “Joy to the World,” a flamenco-flavored take on “Feliz Navidad,” and the emotional ballad “Magic,” featuring David Archuleta, an original composition that Stirling shares was written in remembrance of personal family moments after her father’s passing. Overall, if you’re looking to add some variety to your holiday playlist, start here. 

DF: 12/22