Leading fantastic swing arrangements, Tony Bennett’s iconic voice commands the Count Basie Big Band for an album of jazzy Christmas classics perfect for the best kinds of holiday parties. The always confident Bennett swaggers through holiday standards like “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” a throwback big-band track with blazing horns and meandering piano interludes.
“Winter Wonderland” is similarly appealing’ a seasonal and stylish strut with perky brass and peppy drumming. Unexpected and delightful, “My Favorite Things” is fun and a perfect sentiment for the season, despite not being a classic Christmas cut.
Stripped down, Bennett’s voice easily finds character with simple lounge pianos on album closer “O Christmas Tree” and on less frantic holiday songs like “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” a subdued, smoky song that’s beautiful and charming.
If “A Swingin’ Christmas” isn’t on your holiday music shopping list, may your snowman’s carrot wilt and wither.