This was the last album recorded by Lou Rawls, who had just received word that he had cancer when these 2004 sessions were held, and that knowledge lends a bit of extra poignancy to some of these tracks, particularly the powerful version of "Silent Night" Rawls turns in here. No stranger to holiday albums (he released Merry Christmas Ho! Ho! Ho! in 1965 and Christmas Is the Time in 1993 and compilations combining the two show up nearly every year), Rawls stuck closer to jazz this time out, and it's nice to hear some of these holiday classics done up in a 21st century swing style, and Rawls' smooth, elegant baritone is always a welcome listen. The opener, "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" swings powerfully, and the aforementioned "Silent Night" is a show stopper, but the most intriguing track is a lightly funky and bluesy version of "Jingle Bells," which features an inspired piano arrangement from Mark Adam Watkins. Rawls loved singing holiday music, and it shows here. If he knew that this would be his last album (and he probably did), that knowledge still couldn't take the joy and hope out of his voice.
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AllMusic Review by Steve Leggett