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A very jazzy Christmas

Christmas Is the Time
Christmas Is the Time
By Lou Rawls

Manhattan / Capitol Records: 1993

This review first appeared in the November 30, 1993 issue of the North County Blade-Citizen (now North County Times).

Lou Rawls has one of the absolute best voices in American popular music. For awhile, though, he wasted it on pop pablum, but his last three albums – all focused on the blues – have re-established him as a first-rate vocalist. Happily, his new Christmas release continues that trend.

While the material here is, with one exception – the title track, co-written by Rawls – as familiar as an old slipper, Rawls' performance breathes new life into each one. With a jazzy, improvisational approach, standards like "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen," "Silent Night" and "Joy to the World" sound fresh and new.