James Taylor at Christmas Import
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James Taylor At Christmas (Bonus Track Version)
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James Taylor was the archetype for the gentle, inward-looking singer/songwriter movement of the early '70s. The easy lilt and timbre of Taylor's voice belies the complex emotional content of his songs, which aren't merely carefree folk-based odes, but instead look unflinchingly at a flawed man's journey through life. It's a tribute to his knack for making great pop records that he managed a long, decade-plus string of big hits.
Looking for a smart, never-out-of-style singer who turns in a perfectly solid collection of Christmas songs, including a few surprises? J.T. is your man on James Taylor at Christmas, which is nicely balanced between pop and jazz selections, with more stately hymn-like fare and balladry. Always fine in his charmingly understated voice, Taylor and company try out the old gospel standard "Go Tell It on the Mountain" and the memorable "Some Children See Him." He smoothly cuts through "Winter Wonderland" and "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" with a bit of jazz flavor, and reprises Joni Mitchell's increasingly popular Christmas song (even though it's about getting away from the holiday), "River." One of the album's most satisfying delights is Taylor's funky version of "Jingle Bells," sung in a kind of barroom stomp with the most intriguing phrasing since Barbra Streisand sang it in the '60s. Soulful and bright and moody as well (when Taylor sings "In the Bleak Midwinter," you believe it's indeed rough), there's barely a clinker here. -- Martin Keller
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Top customer reviews
I sure wish that James Taylor's Christmas Album would have been available then. What a wonderful CD: the first time you hear it, I guarantee it will put you in a lovely Christmas mood. JT himself wrote in the album notes, this cd is intended to be played while "trimming the tree and quaffing eggnog..."
I can't pick a favorite tune, they're all delightful: but here are some stand-outs: the breezy "Baby, It's Cold Outside" (the best version I've ever heard!), "Some Children See Him" (beautifully touching without being sappy), "Jingle Bells" (100% JT!) and the rousing, Celtic-flavored "Auld Lang Syne."
A perfect Christmas Album.
I listened to him play and sing. When his performance was over, I heard his name mentioned and I remember saying to myself, "Not bad.". It wasn't too long after that that that his album "Sweet Baby James" hit the record stores ...... it was an immediate success. Not bad at all!!! Buy this album ....... no matter whatever you already have in the way of Christmas Music. It will become a favorite in no time. I love just about any instrument with strings on it. Yo-Yo Ma plays his cello on "Here Comes the Sun". Many Happy and Merry Christmases to all ....... may your life be long and peaceful.
Definitely a must-have for James Taylor fans or anyone looking for a solid collection of classic Christmas songs.