Jon Secada

The Gift

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Jon Secada took a traditional approach to this Christmas album, hiring a 60-piece orchestra to play José Antonio Molina's lush arrangements and recording live with it. Tradition also rules much of the song list, with favorites like "Silent Night" (in English and Spanish versions) and "O Come All Ye Faithful" turning up. Secada has taken the liberty of including a couple of originals that probably won't become standards, though he doesn't embarrass himself. This is a pretty somber set for the most part, perhaps more appropriate for late on Christmas Eve than Christmas morning, but it's well-sung and the arrangements add new elements here and there without varying much from the familiar.

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