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James Taylor At Christmas Extra tracks

4.5 out of 5 stars 522 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Extra tracks, October 30, 2012
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Get into the holiday spirit with James Taylor at Christmas, a collection of 14 holiday favorites recorded by Taylor throughout the years, including his brand new track "Mon Beau Sapin," a French rendition of "O Christmas Tree," which is only available on this collection. James Taylor at Christmas also features his jazzy renditions of "Winter Wonderland" and "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town," Taylor's unique take on "Jingle Bells," a heartwarming rendition of "The Christmas Song" (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire), and a moving version of George Harrison's "Here Comes the Sun" which Taylor recorded with cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Other tracks include his playful duet with Natalie Cole ("Baby, It's Cold Outside"), a cover of Joni Mitchell's "River," his take on the spiritual "Go Tell It On the Mountain", and to cap off the year, the New Year's classic "Auld Lang Syne."
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 30, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Extra tracks
  • Label: UMe
  • ASIN: B0099TJ4YQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (522 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,727 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By Matthew G. Sherwin HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 25, 2006
Format: Audio CD
James Taylor's voice is in excellent form on his Christmas CD entitled James Taylor At Christmas. The CD boasts an excellent collage of traditional and somewhat formal holiday hymns interspersed with more playful, upbeat pop numbers. The ultimate effect is sheer delight to almost anyone's ears; and just one listen to this CD will prove it.

The CD starts off beautifully with a playful and heartfelt rendition of "Winter Wonderland." Chris Botti plays the trumpet on this song, too. This secular music is quickly followed by the more religious "Go Tell It On The Mountain."

Some other songs celebrating the joy of the holiday season include a pleasing and laid-back duet for James Taylor and Natalie Cole on "Baby, It's Cold Outside;" "Jingle Bells" onto which James Taylor puts his own stamp using a unique arrangement; "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" and "The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)" written by Mel Tormé and Robert Wells. Toots Theilemans does a great job on harmonica for "The Christmas Song," too.

"In The Bleak Midwinter" is a much more religious song with a lush musical arrangement; James Taylor addresses the importance of loving Jesus as Jesus loves everyone. "Who Comes This Night" is based on the nativity scene in the manger and it is equally charming.

The CD ends with the thoughtful "Auld Lang Syne." The musical arrangement is flawless and this is the perfect song to end this CD.

The liner notes are beautiful. There are two great photos of James Taylor and the song credits are there, too.

In addition, there is the issue of the differences between the three "versions" of this CD. This CD is, for the most part, a re-issue of James Taylor's 2004 Christmas CD put out by Hallmark.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
James Taylor's Columbia holiday set is a gorgeous and friendly set that brings the smile of friends and good times to disc. Chris Botti's trumpet is lovely on the opener "Winter Wonderland" with James' voice oozing that warm friendliness that makes him sound like he's in YOUR living room singing just for YOU! James' voice is lovely on the gospel favorite "Go Tell It On the Mountain," "Shepherds watching over their flocks by night, out of the darkness shown a heavenly light." "Jingle Bells" is recast as blues funk track with some tasty lead guitar licks. The teasing duet with Natalie Cole on "Baby, It's Cold Outside" polishes the lovely melody with their voices playing well off each other. Joni Mitchell's classic "River" from her album "Blue" has now firmly become rooted in the Christmas cannon of modern singers with James' lonesome voice tailor-made (pun intended) for the tune. "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" is stunningly beautiful with the melody boasting its hopeful cheer and James' voice a dear lament for days gone by. "Some Children See Him" with Dave Grusin's piano is beautiful in this sparse musical setting. "Who Comes This Night" is a new song penned by producer Dave Grusin that first appeared on James' limited-release Hallmark set. With my family attending to a loved one who is all too quickly passing this holiday, its lovely message brings tears to our eyes, "Who sends this song upon the air to ease the soul that's aching, to still the cry of deep despair & heal the heart that's breaking." It is simply a lovely melody, superbly sung. The set ends with a classic version of the great New Year's song "Auld Lang Syne." James Taylor's "At Christmas" touches the heart in ways only his music could. Treasure this one! Enjoy!
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Format: Audio CD
Whether you buy the original "A Christmas Album" or the new "James Taylor at Christmas" this is easily one of the best Christmas CD's you can find. 11 of the songs were produced by Dave Grusin, an accomplished composer and performing artist himself, "A Christmas Album" also features Natalie Cole, Chris Botti, John Pizzarelli and Mr. Grusin as collaborators. The songs are as enchanting as they are laid-back. There are gorgeous pop-jazz versions of "Winter Wonderland," "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" and "The Christmas Song". There is also an engagingly simple new-age flavored version of "Auld Lang Syne", an Elizabethan flavored version of "Deck the Halls" (on the original ACA and on the special edition of JTAC) and a funk-blues version of "Jingle Bells". Dave Grusin and James Taylor make great partners, particularly on the gospel song "Go Tell It on the Mountain". While I like everything on this album, three songs stand out the most for me; the straightforward and graceful interpretations of "In the Bleak Midwinter" and "Some Children See Him" and the tropical-flavored cover of "Baby, It's Cold Outside". This duet with Natalie Cole is easily one of the best versions, right up there with Louis Armstrong & Velma Middleton's and Ray Charles & Betty Carter's. "James Taylor at Christmas" includes the breathtakingly simple and beautiful cover of Joni's Mitchell's "River", produced by James Taylor and Charlie Paakkari, which manages to be sad and hopeful at the same time. The same can also be said about "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," produced by Russ Titelman and originally recorded for the album "October Road". JT subtly brings out the pathos in the song without losing its essential optimism. There's a reason this music has proven so popular in any version, these performances are just so good, you can enjoy listening to them over and over, even after the Christmas Season is over.
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