Big Voices, Beloved Christmas Songs

Friday, December 02, 2011

It's that time of the year. Christmas music becomes ubiquitous, playing over the speakers at every store and shop you visit. For my part, I dearly love the big productions of Christmas classics offered by the great crooners of yesteryear. Singers like Dino, Frank and Ella belt out these standards, bringing their unique take on these great songs.
  1. Winter Wonderland – Dean Martin – Dino is just wonderful on this lavishly produced version of Winter Wonderland. This is a song designed for Dean's phrasings.
  2. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – Frank Sinatra – The Chairman hits all the right notes in this melancholy version of this Christmas standard. Produced in the vein of Frank's seminal “In The Wee Small Hours”, he finds the emotional center and plays for all it's worth.
  3. The Christmas Song – Sammy Davis Jr. – Our third Rat Pack member, Sammy sings with emotion bringing a new life to this much loved and much covered Christmas standard.
  4. Silent Night – Lena Horne – Oh, Lena. Such a lovely voice for such a wonderful song. The relatively sparse arrangement really puts Ms. Horne's voice front and center. As it should be.
  5. O Come All Ye Faithful – Nat King Cole – Another standard covered by a great voice. Nat King Cole has many great Christmas standards. He has a voice made for Christmas music, especially the more religious songs, which become lovely hymnals highlighting the season.
  6. Sleigh Ride – Ella Fitzgerald – No jazz/big band list is complete without a song by Ella. Everything done by Ella Fitzgerald is wonderful.
Videos, as always, after the jump

Winter Wonderland - Dean Martin
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas - Frank Sinatra
The Christmas Song - Sammy Davis Jr.
Silent Night - Lena Horne with Count Basie (1945)
Oh come all ye faithful - Nat King Cole
Sleigh Ride - Ella Fitzgerald

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