What A Night! A Christmas Album

What A Night! A Christmas Album

Not only is this Harry Connick, Jr.'s third album of Christmas carols, it is also quite possibly his best. In fact, New York City's event planners were enchanted enough to invite him to perform at the 2008 lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. By mixing yuletide carols with a big band orchestra, New Orleans-steeped jazz, and ‘40s-inspired bebop, Connick has forged his own unique kind of Holiday tradition. This one opens with a swinging take on "It's the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year" followed by Connick's own "What A Night!" one of four original compositions written for this engagement. Playing like a string-laden Sinatra ballad, the sentimental "Christmas Day" (another self-penned tune) was originally meant to be the title track. Gospel diva Kim Burrell graces "Let There Be Peace On Earth" with a soulful vocal performance over sweeping strings and a lilting horn section; she also joins Connick on the beat-heavy "Song for the Hopeful," another original that was initially written for the 2008 made- for-T.V. movie Living Proof. Connick transforms "We Three Kings" into a funky instrumental, but the star on the tree belongs to "Winter Wonderland," showcasing an endearing duet with Connick's daughter, Sarah Kate.

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