I firmly believe that it is never too late to buy or play Christmas music. I play it all through the season, at least until New Year's Eve provides significant distractions of its own. Also, a great album of Christmas music makes a nice last minute gift or stocking stuffer. Five of my favorite Christmas albums are:
1. Ultra Lounge Christmas Cocktails, Volume 1.
This album is another of the fabulous releases from the Ultra Lounge project. The highlights are "Christmas Is" by Lou Rawls and "I'd Like You For Christmas" by Julie London. Oh Julie, how can it be that we never met?
2. Ultra Lounge Christmas Cocktails, Volume 2.
Another superb album. "Baby It's Cold Outside" by Dean Martin is the greatest version of this great song. "Christmas Waltz" by Nancy Wilson is another highlight.
3. The Sinatra Christmas Album.
There are a lot of Sinatra Christmas albums but this one is my favorite because it has duets with Bing and some other surprises. The aching "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" steals the show pally.
4. Making Spirits Bright, Dean Martin.
This is my favorite of the lot. Every song on this is perfect. My highlights are "Christmas Blues", "Winter Romance" and, of course, "Baby It's Cold Outside".
5. I'll Be Home For Christmas, Joe Grandsen.
Atlanta trumpet man and vocalist Joe Grandsen is one of my favorite performers. His Christmas album is full of jazzy swingin' arrangements and has lots of energy. You can buy it here.
6. Snowfall, Jackie Gleason.
Many people do not know that Jackie Gleason was very well regarded as a band leader and put out several albums of big band and orchestra music. Not many people have this album but it is easily available. It is all instrumental and all swanky. My favorites are "Snowfall" and "I'll Be Home For Christmas". When I play this album, people invariably say "wow, that is fantastic...what album is that?"
I hope that you add one or more of these great albums to your collection. Put one on and have a holiday martini on me...