Mark Shane - piano, vocals
Harry Allen – tenor sax
Jon-Erik Kellso - trumpet
James Chirillo - guitar, banjo
Pat O'Leary - bass
Dave Ratajczak - drums
01 What Will Santa Claus Say
02 God Rest Me Merry Gentleman
03 Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
04 The Christmas Song
05 Santa Claus Came In The Spring
06 Silent Night
07 Joy To The World
08 ‘Zat you Santa Claus
09 Jingle Bells
10 Merry Christmas Baby
11 Sleigh Ride
12 Oh Christmas Tree
13 Hark! The Herald Angels
14 Medley: Oh Du Froehliche, Alle Jahre Wieder
Recorded on December 17 and 18, 1998 at Nola Recording Studios, New York.
Listen to the music at bandcamp:
One of the ultimate most swinging Christmas albums ever.
Recorded in December 1998 in New York City.
At a time when the whole city is packed with Santas, Christmas carols, presents, candles, and Jingle Bells.
That makes the difference.
You can really hear the Christmas spirit!!!
Because the repertoire of Christmas songs that musicians are willing to record is usually rather narrow, one often comes to dread or avoid yuletide CDs altogether. But pianist Mark Shane was willing to look beyond the usual list and also use some imagination in putting together his arrangements (along with charts by guitarist James Chirillo) for this release. Starting off with the infrequently heard Louis Prima oldie "What Would Santa Claus Say?" is a welcome change, as this swinger features hot solos by trumpeter Jon-Erik Kellso, tenor saxophonist Harry Allen, as well as the leader, who also sings in a warm, friendly manner. Shane gets into the campiness of Johnny Mercer's long forgotten "Santa Claus Came in the Spring" and the pseudo-paranoia of the lyric to "'Zat You Santa Claus." James Chirillo's banjo and Shane's music box-like piano help to create an unusual setting for "God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen," while the vamp from the well-known swing standard "Flyin' Home" helps to set up the fun-filled "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town." This is one Christmas release that won't wear its welcome after a few plays.
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden