6 holiday albums you should be listening to this season
AmNews Staff Reports | 12/7/2015, 4:19 p.m.
It’s the holiday season and that means music is everywhere. While we have great respect for yuletide hits like Nat King Cole’s rendition of “The Christmas Song,” Donny Hathaway’s “This Christmas” or the ever popular version of “Silent Night” by The Temptations, there’s nothing wrong with starting some new traditions. Make some room in your iPod for these 2015 holiday albums.
Christmas With Friends - India.Arie and Joe Sample
Neo-soul singer India.Arie and jazz pianist Joe Sample of the Jazz Crusaders team up on this album. Guest singers also perform on the album including R&B songstress Brandy singing “Silent Night.” Arie and singer Kem team up for a jazz ballad version of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”
It’s A Holiday Party - Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings
Brooklyn’s own funk/soul band Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings bring on the noise in their first holiday album. Lead singer Jones takes it back old school style on the track “Ain’t No Chimneys in the Projects” as well as classics “Silver Bells,” “Funky Little Drummer Boy” and “God Rest Ye Merry Gents.”
Braxton Family Christmas - The Braxtons
One of reality TV’s first families comes together with some fresh makeovers of several holiday hits. Toni Braxton takes the lead on “This Christmas” and “Mary Did You Know.” The Braxton sisters show off their vocal talents on the acapella version of “O, Holy Night.”
My Gift To You - Kim Waters
Saxophonist Kim Waters delivers smooth jazz versions of holiday classics on his album. Highlights include "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas," "I'll Be Home For Christmas," "Silent Night" and "Christmas Time Is Here." The album also features Waters' daughter Kayla on keyboards and his wife Dana on vocals.
A Very Swingin’ Basie Christmas - Count Basie Orchestra
The Count Basie Orchestra releases this toe-tapping holiday album featuring big band versions of “Jingle Bells” and “Good ‘Swing’ Wenceslas.” Singer Ledisi performs a rendition of “The Christmas Song” while being backed by the ensemble. Other guest vocalists include Johnny Mathis singing “It’s The Holiday Season” and Carmen Bradford on “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.”
Big Band Holidays - Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis
Another holiday album for jazz lovers featuring trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Be sure to check out the band’s renditions of “Jingle Bells,” “White Christmas,” “We Three Kings” and “What Child Is This” featuring vocalist Cecile Mclorin Salvant. Vocalist Rene Marie also covers "I'll Be Home For Christmas." If you want to hear the band's holiday music live tickets are available for their concert going on from Dec. 17 through 19.