Nancy Wilson

A Nancy Wilson Christmas

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It seems a little bit strange that an artist of Nancy Wilson's popularity and experience -- she's recorded more than 60 albums in various genres over the course of a 40-year career -- would never have made a Christmas album. But this is indeed her first, and it's as sweet-spirited and gently eclectic as you'd expect. Joined on several tracks by the Dizzy Gillespie Alumni Allstar Big Band and on others by the vocal quartet New York Voices, flutist Herbie Mann, and various other guest artists, Wilson takes highly predictable elements and creates an original and multifaceted pastiche out of them. From the bossa nova rendition of "White Christmas" to the dense vocal arrangements on "Silver Bells," Wilson manages to keep things both interesting and fun. The fact that her voice remains as powerful and nuanced as ever doesn't hurt, either.

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