Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
Wynton Marsalis' upbeat, swinging Christmas platter passes on the spirit and good-humor of new Orleans in general and Louis Armstrong in particular while keeping its own experimental edge. Soprano Kathleen Battle sings "Silent Night" and while it's a fine cut by itself, the tune doesn't mesh with the more street-smart feel of the rest of the album. Wynton's own reading of "'Twas the Night Before Xmas," however, is tops.