Various Artists

Martha Stewart Living Music: Jazz for the Holidays

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When she's not trying to restore her good name that was tarnished by insider trading, hosting a talk show, running her own business empire, or belittling potential employees in prime-time television, Martha Stewart somehow finds time to make mix CDs for her friends. These pleasant and painfully inoffensive discs usually revolve around a theme, and this time around Stewart curates a 16-track offering of mild, relaxing holiday favorites performed by some of jazz's most beloved superstars. From smooth jazz to classic artists, they're all to be found and curated with the most gentle of care, something you would expect from Stewart and company. In her liner notes, she writes "Light jazz provides just the right amount of energy to keep a party lively without overpowering conversation; it has a comfortable beat and relaxed swing that will encourage your guests to move and mingle," and she's right on the mark. Also included in place of bonus material or DVD bonus material is a recipe for hot crab dip (note to novice cookers: make sure you practice this dish once before serving it to unsuspecting guests), ideal for serving at holiday parties.

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