With the exception of a live version of Mel Torme singing "The Christmas Song" in 1988, all of the selections on this Christmas CD were recorded by various Concord artists from 1995-96. There is plenty of variety in both instrumentation and moods, yet the overall results are consistently pleasing, and there is lots of fine playing. Heard here are trumpeter Maynard Ferguson (performing a six-song "Christmas Medley"), singer Dennis Rowland, tenorman Rickey Woodard (romping through "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"), flutist Ali Ryerson, vocalist Marlena Shaw, guitarist Jeff Linsky, organist Jack McDuff, pianist Gerry Wiggins, singer Mary Stallings, altoist Jesse Davis, guitarist Carlos Barbosa-Lima, trumpeter Randy Sandke ("It Came Upon a Midnight Clear"), pianist Manfredo Fest, Nnenna Freelon (singing a couple of spirituals), pianist Sergio Salvatore, Chris Potter (taking "O Come All Ye Faithful" as an unaccompanied tenor solo), and Torme.
AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow
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