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James Taylor at Christmas
     

James Taylor at Christmas

4.4 10
by James Taylor
 

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A thoroughly engaging, warmhearted affair, James Taylor at Christmas trades on JT's friendly tenor and some low-key, jazz-tinged arrangements by producer/arranger Dave Grusin, wishing a mellow Yuletide season to all. A personable vocal trio joins woodwinds and strings for a fireside "Winter Wonderland" (which features trumpeter Chris Botti in an atmospheric

Overview

A thoroughly engaging, warmhearted affair, James Taylor at Christmas trades on JT's friendly tenor and some low-key, jazz-tinged arrangements by producer/arranger Dave Grusin, wishing a mellow Yuletide season to all. A personable vocal trio joins woodwinds and strings for a fireside "Winter Wonderland" (which features trumpeter Chris Botti in an atmospheric solo turn) and a winsome "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." Natalie Cole drops by for a flirtatious "Baby, It's Cold Outside," and the great harmonica virtuoso Toots Thielemans adds angular, introspective solos to a string-rich arrangement of Mel Tormé's "The Christmas Song." For a change of pace, a folk trio of Taylor (on guitar), Grusin (on piano), and Dave Carpenter (on bass) offers Joni Mitchell's "River" as a spare, melancholic seasonal heartbreaker; and, backed by only pianist Grusin and a string section, Taylor is quietly commanding on a reverent musical interpretation of Alfred Burt's poem "Some Children See Him." That song launches a powerful four-tune climax to the album, as it's followed by the hymn-like "Who Comes This Night"; a somber, orchestrated treatment of the ages-old evergreen "In the Bleak Midwinter"; and a deliberate, poignant pop reading of "Auld Lang Syne," freshened up by JT's gentle reading. With Grusin on piano, John Pizzarelli on guitar, Carpenter on bass, and Vinnie Colaiuta on drums on most cuts, the band crafts a sympathetic backdrop as Taylor wends his way through the textures and timeless themes of his well-considered Christmas journey.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Christopher Monger
For the most part, holiday-themed albums are about as memorable as what you had for lunch a month ago. As humans continue to evolve, there's a very good chance that we'll develop some sort of yuletide audio bypass valve that will allow us to filter the three-and-a-half million versions of every Christmas song ever made into one solid rendition that either pleases or displeases us, and can be dealt with accordingly. That said, James Taylor's brilliantly titled James Taylor at Christmas is about as inoffensive a collection of seasonal classics as one could hope for. The legendary singer/songwriter's warm voice is the perfect vessel for "Winter Wonderland," "Jingle Bells," and the "Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)" because it makes absolutely no impression on the listener.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/10/2006
Label:
Imports
UPC:
0886970032322
catalogNumber:
1070360
Rank:
14644

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

James Taylor   Primary Artist,Vocals
James "J.T." Taylor   Guitar,Vocals
Larry Goldings   Organ,Piano,Harmonium,Melodica
David Lasley   Vocals
Bruce Dukov   Violin
Phil Ayling   English Horn,Oboe
Chris Botti   Trumpet
Jacqueline Brand   Violin
Dave Carpenter   Bass
Vinnie Colaiuta   Drums
Luis Conte   Percussion
Dave Grusin   Piano,Celeste
Brian Dembow   Viola
George Doering   Guitar
Stephen Erdody   Celli
Steve Gadd   Drums
Julie Gigante   Violin
Alan Grunfeld   Violin
Clayton Haslop   Violin
Dan Higgins   Flute
Paula Hochhalter   Celli
Roland Kato   Viola
Michael Landau   Guitar
Bill Liston   Clarinet
Kate Markowitz   Vocals
Edward Meares   Bass
Claudia Parducci   Violin
John Pizzarelli   Guitar
Katia Popov   Violin
Toots Thielemans   Harmonica
Cecilia Tsan   Celli
Josefina Vergara   Violin
Margaret Wooten   Violin
Ken Yerke   Violin
Arnold McCuller   Vocals
Karen Elaine Bakunin   Viola
Clifford Carter   Synthesizer
Natalie Leggett   Violin
Ralph Williams   Bass Clarinet
Victoria Miskolczy   Viola
Marlow Fisher   Viola
Tamara Hatwan   Violin
Ralph Morrison   Violin,Concert Master
Jimmy Johnson   Bass
Sarah Parkins   Violin
Gary Gray   Clarinet

Technical Credits

Joni Mitchell   Composer
James "J.T." Taylor   Arranger,Producer,Liner Notes
James Taylor   Audio Production
Larry Goldings   Arranger
Frank Loesser   Composer
Felix Bernard   Composer
J. Fred Coots   Composer
Dave Grusin   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Haven Gillespie   Composer
Don Murray   Engineer
Charles Paakkari   Producer,Engineer,Audio Production
Sally Stevens   Composer
Russ Titelman   Producer,Audio Production
David Bett   Art Direction
Christopher Austopchuk   Art Direction
Traditional   Composer
Gary Borman   Management
Barbara Rose Granatt   Management
Alfred S. Burt   Composer

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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James Taylor at Christmas 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
MountainMomma More than 1 year ago
If you enjoy the stylings of James Taylor, you will enjoy this selection of Christmas songs. He does a good job and his usual mellow tones dominate.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a longtime fan of James Taylor, I couldn't wait to hear the Christmas album, and I was not at all disappointed. That mellow voice, that smooth delivery, that amused, intelligent, and warm approach he brings to his music - it's all here. My favorites are the very cool arrangement of "Jingle Bells" and the melancholy and simply beautiful "River." This music makes me happy, and I listen to it all during the season.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this Christmas CD. I bought a second one for my closest friend. James Taylor is awesome.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good variety, fun to listen to. I love James Taylor.
mabtx More than 1 year ago
It is a wonderful CD. It has become my favorite and I have a lot of Christmas CD's
Guest More than 1 year ago
James does an admirable job of taking on some seasonal classics and treasures as well as some lesser known tunes. The orchestration is gorgeous, the jazz arrangements soulful while the overall spirit is an appropriate blend of reverence and joyfulness. JT at Christmas won't win many converts, but it's sure to make his fans very merry.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You can't beat James Taylor for setting the magical Christmas mood with this wonderful selection of music. I enjoy playing it even after the holidays, when you need to relax and remember the good times with family and frieds. His soulful voice is so easy to listen to anytime. I highly recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ces nouveaux disques qui reprennent des chansons à succès produisent un effet répulsif, pour s’exprimer via le passé, s’affranchissant d’un bonheur présent, marchant en écrevisse : à reculons. Ce millésime vient exactement en contredire l’observation, en distinction d’une carrière exceptionnelle de l’un des plus grands compositeurs et chanteurs américain. Initié comme cadeau de Noël, je le découvrais à Sun Valley, Idaho et décorais harmonieusement les pentes de la Bald Mountain des sonorités des grands classiques de Noël. James Taylor revisite les plus beaux thèmes, jusqu’à modifier le tempo de Jingle Bells pour leur donner un pas dansant. L’accompagnement des guitaristes confirmés et les cœurs chaleureux appuyant les basses transforment le « Go tell it on the mountain ». Un vrai délice que l’on pourra entendre de nouveau, sans aller à Ketchum, mais en y pressant le pas ici comme sur le « Trail Creek Road ». Chapeau Monsieur Taylor.