Dec 14, 2011
The great Ray Charles only made one Christmas album in his lengthy career, and for some reason, The Spirt of Christmas was briefly out of print. Now available again on CD as part of Concord Records' reissue projects, it is a winner from start to finish.
The title track, with one word changed,(which I have been told plays in the film Christmas Vacation when Clark Griswold is watching of his old family movies) is the featured track today, It's hard to argue with these lyrical sentiments:
I was sittin by the fire side
Taking a walk through the snow
Listening to a children's choir
Singing songs about Jesus
The blessed way that he came to us
Why can't it remain
All through the year
Each day the same
Heyeah, that's what I wanna hear
It's truly amazin
That spirit of Christmas
Personnel varies from track to track on the album, but highlighted musicians include Charles (vocals, piano, synthesizer); Marty Paich (arranger, conductor); Jeff Pevar, Kevin Turner (guitar); Rudy Johnson (tenor saxophone); Freddie Hubbard (trumpet, flugelhorn); The Raelettes, The Jack Halloran Singers (background vocals).