Along with the traditional numbers like "Jingle Bells", "Winter Wonderland" and "White Christmas", there a couple of lesser heard songs such as "Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep" and the classic "Christmas Time Is Here" (by Vince Guaraldi of A Charlie Brown Christmas fame). It was interesting to hear Krall's heart felt version her slow piano playing would have made Messers Guaraldi and Mendelson proud, as would a certain round faced little boy.
Krall's renditions of "Let It Snow" and "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" are full of the joy of the season and are done with a wink and a smile that is infectious to hear. The sound of the orchestra give each number a swing that guarantees that this disc will be heard at holiday parties everywhere. They never overpower Krall's vocals, but instead provide a strong counter balance that give the numbers just the right weight.
Its hard to breath life into songs that have been heard and recorded more times than anyone cares to remember, but Christmas Songs manages where others fail. One of the best examples of this on this disc is the opening song "Jingle Bells." The Ella Fitzgerald type of scatting gives the song such a wonderful boost that it makes it practically leap out at you. Each song is a chance to rediscover the spirit of the season before it became so commercialized and glossy (the Christmas of your youth, when everything was still a wonder to behold).
Christmas Songs includes the immortal Jule Styne, Sammy Cahn number, "Let It Snow," and it is done with a dreamy quality that is hard to resist. You can almost feel the warm glow of the fire and see the snow falling. It makes you long for winter. The album closes out with "Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep" and quiet introspective number that has new meaning in todays world. All and all, Christmas Songs is not only a joy to the ear and but a must have on any jazz lovers Christmas list.