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Louis Armstrong & Friends - What A Wonderful Christmas (1997)

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Louis Armstrong & Friends - What A Wonderful Christmas (1997)

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01. Louis Armstrong With Benny Carter’s Orchestra – Christmas In New Orleans (2:54)
02. Louis Armstrong With Gordon Jenkins & His Orchestra – White Christmas (2:39)
03. Dinah Washington – Silent Night (2:22)
04. Mel Tormé – The Christmas Song (3:06)
05. Louis Armstrong With Benny Carter’s Orchestra – Christmas Night In Harlem (2:39)
06. Peggy Lee With Jud Conlon’s Rhythmaires – Its Christmas Time Again (2:59)
07. Louis Armstrong & The Commanders – Cool Yule (2:55)
08. Sonny Parker And Lionel Hampton – Merry Christmas Baby (3:22)
09. Louis Armstrong & The Commanders – Zat You Santa Claus (2:39)
10. Eartha Kitt – Santa Baby (3:26)
11. Duke Ellington & His Orchestra – Jingle Bells (2:59)
12. Lena Horne – Santa Claus Coming To Town (2:42)
13. Louis Jordan & His Orchestra – May Everyday Be Christmas (3:10)
14. Louis Armstrong With Gordon Jenkins & His Orchestra – Winter Wonderland (2:59)

 

Although this Christmas compilation is credited to "Louis Armstrong & Friends," it's really more aptly categorized as a various artists anthology, since Armstrong only has six of the fourteen tracks. The disc is filled out with seasonal offerings by Dinah Washington, Mel Torme, Louis Jordan, Lionel Hampton, Peggy Lee, Eartha Kitt, and Lena Horne, Duke Ellington, mostly from the 1950s. It's pleasant pop-jazz that doesn't rate among the highlights of any of these talented artists' careers. But it makes for an above-average Christmas disc, especially on Lionel Hampton's "Merry Christmas, Baby," Louis Armstrong's "Cool Yule," and Louis Jordan's "May Everyday Be Christmas," which celebrate the holiday with more gutsy hipness than the usual Yuletide fare. --- Richie Unterberger, Rovi

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