Straight No Chaser – Holiday Spirits

I remember when I first got the link to the Straight No Chaser video of “The 12 Days of Christmas.” I loved it. SNC is a 12-man a cappella group whose fun, inventive, live rendition of that song garnered 8 million views on YouTube.

The popularity of the video got the attention of a recording label honcho and now SNC has a recording on Atlantic Records. The 14 songs are familiar favorites like “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” and “The Christmas Song” and a couple of originals. I thought covering Brian Wilson’s “Little Saint Nick” was a good choice.

I’ve been given a MP3 of “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing/Angels We Have Heard on High” for you to download. Click the play button after the YouTube videos to give it a try. If you like it, right-click the link and save the file. You can buy the CD or DRM-free download from Amazon by clicking the shopping cart in the player.

The video that started it all:

The journey from Indiana University students to major label recording artists:

Straight No Chaser - Holiday SpiritsStraight No Chaser – Holiday Spirits – “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing/Angels We Have Heard on High”

Holiday Music Roundup Part 1: Vocalists

I began looking up the various jazz seasonal recordings when I first learned about the new Christmas recording from Bela Fleck & the Flecktones. I’ve gotten a good number and am breaking them into separate posts. Here are some of the singers who have new holiday recordings out this year.

Al Jarreau – Christmas. An all-new recording on Rhino. From the Rhino site: “Album highlights include Jarreau’s instantly classic takes on beloved tunes including “The Christmas Song,” “Winter Wonderland,” “White Christmas” and “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.” Cherished Christmas traditions further come alive with his inspired versions of “Come All Ye Faithful,” “Carol Of The Bells,” “Hark The Herald Angels Sing” and “Gloria In Excelsis,” a sacred song used in the Roman Catholic Mass.”
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Singer Erin Bode has a new Christmas-themed release out titled It’s called A Cold December Night. The only information on it so far comes from the great St. Louis Jazz Notes, which says it’s due in November.

Bob James & Hilary James – Christmas Eyes. I don’t know anything about this other than it’s Bob and his daughter, singer Hilary James, in a Christmas recording produced by Kevin DiSimone (Hilary’s hubby). From the track list, it looks like a mix of familiar carols and original songs.
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Harry Connick, Jr. has recorded a third holiday collection – What A Night! A Christmas Album
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I only know of one Tony Bennett holiday recording where he’s the headliner and that’s amazing considering his long career. A Swingin’ Christmas is new from Tony with Count Basie Big Band.
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