Christmas Cookin'

Jimmy Smith

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Christmas Cookin' Review

by Scott Yanow

This Christmas jazz album has five selections in which organist Jimmy Smith is joined by a big band arranged by either Billy Byers or Al Cohn. The remaining selections feature Smith with a variety of trios; guitarist Wes Montgomery is heard on "Baby It's Cold Outside," one of two "bonus" cuts taken from other sessions that help to fill up this otherwise brief set. Smith is fine on "Jingle Bells," "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" and two versions of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" and, even if nothing all that unusual occurs, the performances can serve as high-quality background music during the Christmas season.

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