by George Harris
Julie London-nuanced vocalist Carolyn Lee Jones mixes the traditional with some new Christmas tunes led by keyboardist Brad Williams, who shares the arranging duties with David Pierce with a team of Steven Heffner-Lynn Seaton-Jonathan Fisher, Andrew Griffith-Dennis Burick/dr, Tom Burchill-Todd Parsnow/g and a guest list of strings and horns. She’s cozy on the samba’d read of “The Christmas Song” and with strings on “Toyland”, getting swampy and coy on an R&B’d “Santa Baby” and shuffling in blue for a humming Hammond for “Merry Christmas Baby”. There’s a Tin Pan Alley feel to “Warm In December” and a California Cool hipness on “Jingles the Christmas Cat”. Old and new chestnuts by the open fire.