Various Artists

R&B Christmas, Vol. 2

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EMI-Capitol Special Markets' Rhythm & Blues Christmas, Vol. 2 is an odd hodgepodge of soul, jazz, urban contemporary and R&B tunes largely culled from the EMI vaults (there are also a couple of cuts from Hi and Solar and Philadelphia International, which EMI's reissue label the Right Stuff has acquired over the years). There are certainly a number of great artists here -- Nat "King" Cole, Lou Rawls, Lena Horne, Charles Brown, Ella Fitzgerald, Nancy Wilson, the O'Jays and Al Green -- but they're artists who don't necessarily belong on the same compilation. Consequently, the compilation never quite gels, despite its uniformly high quality. Then again, considering that the disc is inexpensive, it's probably worth its price for budget-minded listeners, simply because there is a lot of good music on the disc. You can figure out the sequence that works best with your CD programming.

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