FILE UNDER: A Jazz Christmas.
CORPORATE LINE: Inspired by her favorite holiday album, Ella Fitzgerald’s 1960 Ella Wishes You A Swinging Christmas (Verve), Monheit creates inventive renditions of an eclectic repertoire of songs. The album spans eleven tracks that range from the Carpenters’ “Merry Christmas Darling” and the 19th century carol “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” to perennial favorites likes “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “Santa Claus is Coming To Town.”
“The Man With The Bag” – The rare song that’s quite good while it lacks any chance of being great.
“This Christmas” – Monheit tries to offer a bit of her own flavor that lacks a true originality and feels forced and uninspiring.
“Merry Christmas Darling” – A very slow rendition that doesn’t have an ounce of Christmas spirit.
“Moonlight In Vermont” and “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” – Both songs are so slow that its nearly impossible to stay interested. Monheit’s voice is pretty—when not overemphasizing words—but not enough to care.
“The Christmas Waltz” – The xylophone solo is awful. When did the xylophone become a Christmas instrument?
“My Grown Up Christmas List” – This is a terrible attempt at doing a song that Faith Hill made famous. Monheit’s has a tendency to overemphasis syllables during the verses.
FRANKLY: It’s bad when a good singer puts out a sub par Christmas album. Jane Monheit proves that it takes more than talent to entertain the masses. Perhaps her fans will be easier to please. The Season tries harder to be jazzy than Christmassy.
+ Rae Gun