The Century recommends

This collection ranges from the merengue of Dominican superstar Reynold to the earthy Hungarian folk of Marta Sebestyen (knit with Arabic textures on “Bethlehem, Bethlehem”). The Cox Family’s dawn-in-Appalachia rendition of “Go Tell It on the Mountain” is a highlight. Other tracks sample holiday pieces from Sweden, Italy and Africa. Proceeds benefit Oxfam’s work to end poverty.

At 82 years young, Tony Bennett remains in top vocal form. With legendary producer Phil Ramone at the helm, Bennett propels “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” with energy that concedes nothing to time, while his piano-tinged take of “Silver Bells” sounds deliciously raspy, as if heard in a smoky jazz salon. Basie’s band keeps the sparkle sublime, and Bennett’s daughter Antonia joins the vocals on “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm.”


This article is available to subscribers only. Please subscribe for full access—subscriptions begin at $2.95. Already have an online account? Log in now. Already a print subscriber? Create an online account for no additional cost.

This article is available to subscribers only.

To post a comment, log inregister, or use the Facebook comment box.