Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas albums 15-21

And...you know you've been waiting for it...numbers 15-21 of my favorite Christmas albums:

15. Harry Connick, Jr. "What a Night!"

Ok, so it's obvious by now that I love jazz music...as reflected in many of my choices here for these favorite albums.  Yet another great album by Harry...he just puts such great New Orleans flair in every song.  Love listening to both his albums.

16. Sarah Mclachlan, "Wintersong"

I'm normally not a fan of Sarah McLaclan.  I'm sorry!  I think she has a unique voice and some pretty songs, but I find her music...well...boring.  Maybe because I tend to like extremely singable music...which I guess hers is, but I don't like singing it.  Anyway...this album is hauntingly beautiful and I think entirely appropriate to the seriousness of the occasion of Christ's birth.  She also does some rarely done Christmas hymns like "O Little Town of Bethlehem."  It took me a while, but now I enjoy when the songs from this album pop up on my Pandora station. 

17. Eddie Higgins Trio "Christmas Songs"

Great album.  I love jazz trios, and this album does a fantastic job.

18. The Skaggs Family, "A Skaggs Family Christmas"


I was given this album by a good friend years ago...and hated it.  It is country...and I like country, but this is country.  Know what I'm saying?  However, the day came last year when I found myself harmonizing with slightly twangy vocals and realizing it was very easy to blend with this family of musicians...and then I was hooked.  The banjo, the fiddle, the pureness of the child's "Christmastime is here"...give this one some time and you might find it enjoyable too.

19. Tchaikovsky, The Nutcracker Suite


Of course, right?  What a beautiful ballet.  I have seen this a few times, and know many of my students go every year to see it.  When Tchaikovsky originally wrote this, it was not well received, but grew in popularity starting in the 1960s. 

20. Andrew Peterson "Behold the Lamb"


I have been blown away by this album.  This man is an amazing lyricist...it really pricks your heart and brings home the message of God's grace and love for His people in sending Jesus.  It's brand new...check it out.

21. Ella Fitzgerald "Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas"

And the First Lady of Song!  My favorite is "Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas."  Swing, swing swing!

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Merry Christmas all!  May you be blessed with peace these next few days.  I aim to get back to some more thoughtful and less frivolous posts soon...but my brain and psyche can't really handle much more than this at the moment.  :)  Family is here, good food is being eaten, spiked drinks abound...life is good.  We have been having some wonderful advent sermons at church which have challenged and comforted me in the past few weeks.  It feels much weightier in the best way this year - more conviction about the materialism and more focus on God's sacrifice and incredible love for us in providing a way to Him, after all humans had done to spite Him.  What an amazing God we serve.

Merry Christmas!


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