The glow of the fire, the jingling of bells, the feeling of peacefulness…Christmas is approaching. Each year at this time, there is a flurry of CDs released full of holiday music. This year is no exception. While most take the approach of the upbeat, childhood memory holiday songs, one CD has taken a different approach.
A Holiday Wish, released by Jimmy Sommers on his own independent label, Gemini Records, has a very adult feel. Jimmy, who is known for his R&B-influenced sax playing, took the romantic road to bring you some wonderful songs in a minimalist way. Just like most Christmas CDs, this one is filled with covers of some old favorites, but that is arranged in a way that would work beautifully in an adult Christmas party
setting...or a romantic gift-giving time.
The CD opens with “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” featuring a wonderful duet of Jimmy’s sax and Chris Botti’s trumpet. The melody is slow and seductive, and is a great choice to set the mood for the CD. A soulful rendition of “What a Wonderful World” follows, adding a feeling of an old-time club. A few favorites, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” and “The Christmas Song,” bring back sweet memories of Christmases past and are performed in a most elegant, adult fashion.
Jimmy makes a mood change with the very playful “My Favorite Things.” The arrangement on this track is almost waltz-like, and makes you want to take a spin around the dance floor. “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow,” “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” and Greensleeves” are upbeat and just fun! And “Santa Baby” is so sultry, that you can feel the heat building. The CD ends with the very solemn “Silent Night” and leaves you with that all-over peaceful feeling.
While this truly is a different approach to holiday music, it is a very welcome change, and one that should be added to any collection of Christmas CDs. Jimmy Sommers is definitely my Holiday Wish.