Diana Krall

Released in 2005

Jazzonline Best Christmas Jazz Albums

WDUQ Best Holiday Jazz CDs Ever

YouTube: https://music.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_kunt5dbjmSsQDUDf7cZEv2DE9Z6lmMyk0

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/3ZHBI81GwgJyEfkbj3ueAr?si=bCwwdr0xR-GnBbBu632ymw


Jazz musicians are lucky when it comes to recording holiday music. When Christmas rolls around they have the chance to dig into such classic, beautifully constructed songs as “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and “White Christmas,” not to mention Mel Tormé’s perennial “Christmas Song.” Add in gems like “Christmas Time Is Here” (of Charlie Brown fame), “Let It Snow,” and Frank Loesser’s “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” and you have the makings of a terrific album, which is just what Diana Krall finds herself with as she dips into this repertoire on her aptly titled Christmas Songs. Backed by the swinging Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra and aided by arrangements from Johnny Mandel and others, Krall turns in joyful and affecting performances, relishing the high quality of the material. This isn’t heart-on-your-sleeve singing — Krall is much too subtle for that — but neither is it emotionally distant. Sweetly playful at times, inwardly expressive at others, Krall consistently demonstrates the superior vocal skills that have made her a modern crossover icon. In an era of stentorian pop divas, she knocks ‘em dead with a whisper. This delightful project can stand next to the very best jazz holiday recordings.

Track Listing:

1. Jingle Bells (James Pierpont / Traditional) 03:25

2. Let It Snow (Sammy Cahn / Jule Styne) feat: Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra 04:01

3. The Christmas Song (Mel Tormé / Robert Wells) 04:23

4. Winter Wonderland (Felix Bernard) feat: Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra 03:14

5. I’ll Be Home for Christmas (Kim Gannon / Walter Kent) feat: Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra 03:07

6. Christmas Time Is Here (Vince Guaraldi / Lee Mendelson) 03:34

7. Santa Claus Is Coming to Town (J. Fred Coots / Haven Gillespie) feat: Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra 02:53

8. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (Ralph Blane / Hugh Martin) 04:19

9. White Christmas (Irving Berlin) 04:31

10. What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve? (Frank Loesser) feat: Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra 04:09

11. Sleigh Ride (Leroy Anderson / Mitchell Parish) feat: Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra 03:26

12. Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep (Irving Berlin) 03:40


Diana Krall: piano, vocals
Alan Broadbent: piano
Jeff Hamilton: drums
Russell Malone: guitar
Rickey Woodard: clarinet, tenor saxophone
Richard Todd: french horn
Robert Hurst: bass, double bass
Clay Jenkins: trumpet
Rick Baptist: trumpet
Gilbert Castellanos: trumpet
Jeff Clayton: flute, alto saxophone
John Clayton: bass, double bass
Sal Cracchiolo: trumpet
Assa Drori: concert master
Keith Fiddmont: clarinet, alto saxophone
Johnny Mandel: conductor
Joe Meyer: french horn
Ira Nepus: trombone
Joe Porcaro: percussion
Emil Richards: percussion
Brad Warnaar: french horn
Randy Waldman: keyboards
Ben Wolfe: bass, double bass
Tommy Johnson: tuba
Anthony Wilson: guitar
Stefon Harris: vibes
George Bohanon: trombone
Tamir Hendelman: piano, fender rhodes
Charles Owens: clarinet, tenor saxophone
William Barnhart: trumpet
Gerald Clayton: piano
Adam Schroeder: bass clarinet, baritone saxophone

Recorded Capitol Studios, Hollywood, CA; Ocean Way Studios, Hollywood, CA; Schnee Studios, North Hollywood, CA; Sony Music Studios, New York, NY

Produced by Tommy LiPuma and Diana Krall

Co-produced by Tommy LiPuma and Johnny Mandel

Recorded and Mixed by Al Schmitt

Art Direction: Hollis Kinh

Photography: Sam Taylor-Wood


On her first full-length Christmas album, pianist/vocalist Diana Krall delivers a smoky, sophisticated, and slightly melancholy album perfectly suited to accompany egg nog cocktails and romantic afterglow holiday affairs. Although there isn’t anything unexpected on Christmas Songs – Irving Berlin’s “Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep” is as close to obscure as it gets – Krall coos life into such standards as “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve,” and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” It also doesn’t hurt that she gains top-notch support from the Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra, whose urbane arrangements help bring to mind similar works by such iconic vocalists as Nat King Cole, June Christy, and Frank Sinatra. But it’s not all deep sighs and bedroom eyes; on the contrary, Krall keeps things swinging with such uptempo numbers as the joyous “Jingle Bells,” “Winter Wonderland,” and the Blossom Dearie-inflected “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.” If you like your holiday albums cool and classy, Christmas Songs is a stocking stuffer that’s sure to please.

Matt Collar (AllMusic)