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A Swingin' Christmas Featuring The Count Basie Big Band

4.5 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

2008 album release Swingin' Christmas featuring the Count Basie Big Band. Bennett has 15 Grammy Awards along with the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award (2001). 'Tony Bennett is among the most recognized human beings on the planet.' ~Vanity Fair. The album tracks are 'The Christmas Song', 'Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas', 'I'll Be Home for Christmas, 'Winter Wonderland', 'Santa Claus Is Coming to Town', 'Christmas Time is Here', 'My Favorite Things', 'The Christmas Waltz', 'Christmas Auld Lang Syne', 'Silver Bells' and 'Christmas Tree'.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. I'll Be Home for Christmas
  2. Silver Bells
  3. All I Want For Christmas Is You
  4. My Favorite Things
  5. Christmas Time Is Here
  6. Winter Wonderland
  7. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
  8. Santa Claus Is Coming to Town
  9. I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm - Tony Bennett duet with Antonia Bennett
  10. The Christmas Waltz
  11. O Christmas Tree


Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 14, 2008)
  • Original Release Date: October 14, 2008
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Columbia / Sony
  • Run Time: 37 minutes
  • ASIN: B001EYGOG0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,806 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mark Blackburn on October 14, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Everything about this CD . . . from its cover photo (a send-up of Norman Rockwell's famous "Freedom from Want" oil painting) with veteran jazz pianist Monty Alexander standing beside Tony to present a picture-perfect turkey to fellow Basie Band alumni -- from the front cover, to Tony's own back-of-the-liner notes water color (Christmas in Vermont?) . . . everything about this CD is a work of art!

Hard to believe, but it's been a full 40 years, since Tony Bennett recorded his last Christmas album -- a classic titled "Snowfall" --- recorded in both London and New York, (orchestrated / conducted in both cities, by Tony's "all-time favorite arranger," the late Robert Farnon).

When the CD version was released more than a decade ago, Amazon.com editorial reviewer "Steve Gdula" stated at the time that, Tony's SNOWFALL album "renders every other version of these songs `null and void'."

Well, with the release this day of "Tony Bennett and the Count Basie Big Band's SWINGIN' CHRISTMAS," I declare these brand new renditions of Christmas favorites to be equally terrific, in their own sweet way!

Highlights? Tony's duet with daughter "Antonia" on a delightful re-working of Irving Berlin's `other' seasonal classic, presented by father & daughter as, "WE'VE Got OUR Love to Keep US Warm," -- brilliantly orchestrated by one of Frank Sinatra's late-in-life arrangers, Frank Foster.

Speaking of great arrangers . . . the "Dean" of living orchestrators Johnny Mandel MAY have arranged my favorite track on this new album "ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU" -- a song Johnny co-wrote with the Bergmans, Marilyn and Alan (whose earliest hit for Frank Sinatra, before they were married, was "Nice `N' Easy").
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Format: Audio CD
Tony Bennett's "A Swingin' Christmas" and Snowfall: The Tony Bennett Christmas Album are two of the most remarkable and my top favorite Christmas albums that totally impressed my ears for the many beautiful things they are made of. This is truly a winning Christmas album that I merrily recommend to be a part of your Christmas celebrations. Likewise, it is a perfect stocking stuffer.

With this Christmas album, Tony Bennett presents notable Christmas carols recorded in the most charming settings starting off with the swingiest version of "I'll Be Home For Christmas." Its engaging Big Band chart arrangement is such a delight to listen to and it sets the tone to the rest of the tracks with Big Band arrangements such as "Silver Bells," "Winter Wonderland," "My Favorite Things," "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" which features Andy Snitzer playing tenor sax solo, and "I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm," an attractive duet with his daughter, Antonia Bennett, whose charming vocal style is something Mr. Bennett should be proud of.

The beauty and charms of this Christmas offering is magnified by the backing of some of the finest musicians in the music world. A big thanks to Monty Alexander and Lee Musiker who will dazzle you with their extraordinary talents in piano. There's Toots Thielemans to beguile you with his exceptional ability in playing his harmonica flawlessly in "All I Want For Christmas Is You." There's Gray Sargent to delight you with his great guitar artistry. There's Paul Longosch to enthrall you with his ingenuity in bass playing. There's Harold Jones to stun you with his incredible flair in drums.
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Format: Audio CD
This is a wonderful collection of songs that will really brighten your holiday!
Tony is in EXCELLENT voice! Please dont listen to the naysayers who say differently!
One review says that he clips his notes and speaks phrases and "improvs" Well,THAT"S JAZZ! Mr Bennett is singing with the Count Basie Band for goodness sake! Basie gives Tony's singing a very jazz inspired feel that is a different to his more Pop style crooning on other CDs. This album is a testament to the gentleman's versatility, and will be appreciated by those who love Jazz and straight Pop. Buy it and you will enjoy it!
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Looking at this you would think you are getting some corny music....NOT!!!! This is unbelievable music that keeps you singing and singing and snapping your fingers! It makes for a very jolly Christmas! Up beat and more than I can say! The packaging was great and the delivery was very fast! Thanks so very very much!
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Like most of the songs. Wish they were all upbeat, swing tunes. I'm not a big fan of slow, dowdy Christmas tunes. Usually, Tony Bennett can do no wrong, but the duet with his daughter is borderline creepy. You should not do a "love" song with your kid!
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We added Tony Bennett's holiday record to our collection this year, and it moved some other classics aside. We enjoyed if for the whole season, and decided it would make a nice stocking stuffer to several relatives besides. Wouldn't hesitate to recommend!
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Tony Bennett and Phil Ramone have already proven an unstoppable combination in the studio, capable of conjuring musical magic with stunningly soul-searching, endlessly listenable appeal. With this superbly chosen set of 11 yuletide tunes and the impeccable musicianship of the Count Basie Orchestra to back them up they inevitably succeed again.

What makes Bennett different from the younger crop of singers in contemporary music, however, is his dedication to perfection. Things cannot simply make the grade - they must be perfect. This high standard shows itself here on "A Swingin' Christmas."

Every note is perfectly nuanced, every syllable sung with thoughtfulness and emotional transparency. He has surrounded himself with the crème de la crème of musicians and tunes of utmost quality to produce a recording destined to be a yearly hit for generations to come. When comparing the quality and - most importantly - sincerity of his singing to that others releasing seasonal discs, there really is no comparison.

The Alan and Marilyn Bergman-penned "All I Want for Christmas Is You" is not a cover of the Mariah Carey original, but a rich, velvety warm ballad on celebrating the season with the love of your life. Those seeking a wedding song for holiday nuptials need absolutely look no further than this remarkable recording. Bennett's delivery tugs at the heartstrings without being emotionally manipulative. It is an absolute destined classic, and consummately romantic.

The rousing "My Favorite Things" from Rodgers and Hammerstein's "The Sound of Music," an anthem to finding happiness in parts of life often taken for granted, becomes a bona fide anthem in Bennett's 82-year-old hands.
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