Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Jazz, Special Interest, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
Jo Stafford's 1964 LP The Joyful Season lends an interesting girl-group sound to a set of traditional favorites. Perhaps the most interesting aspect is that it's all Stafford, multitracked, but the arrangements themselves... more »
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Jo Stafford's 1964 LP The Joyful Season lends an interesting girl-group sound to a set of traditional favorites. Perhaps the most interesting aspect is that it's all Stafford, multitracked, but the arrangements themselves are pretty conventional. There are two rare tunes, "Merry Christmas" and "Christmas Is the Season," written by Stafford's husband and musical director, Paul Weston, and the young team of Alan and Marilyn Bergman (four years before "The Windmills of Your Mind"). Also of interest are previously unreleased duet tracks with frequent collaborator Gordon MacRae. Recommended for fans of Stafford or MacRae, or anyone looking for a traditional Christmas album with just a little something different. --David Horiuchi
Silky & Mellow
Irving Parke-Rhode | Chicago, IL USA | 10/29/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Stafford used a multi-track techique when recording this (hence the second part of the title: The Voices of Jo Stafford) and it's lovely. The CD doesn't have much info about the album so I'll fill in the blanks-recorded in 1964 with Jack Marshall leading the orchestra. Bonus tracks include "Gesu Bambino" (1949), "Ave Maria" previously unreleased (1948?), and two Christmas Medleys with Gordon MacRae (1949) originally released under the title "Songs of Christmas" in December 1949, all from original Capitol recordings. Stafford is in great voice (as usual) and this is a beautiful collection of songs. Stafford's "sound" is different here than on her earlier Christmas recordings but it's just as good. If you're a fan of Jo Stafford and only have her earlier holiday songs (collected on Winter Weather) don't hesitate to add this one to your collection."
Beautiful voices, beautiful songs
MusicFilm Fan | Wash., DC | 09/24/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of the two Jo Stafford Christmas collections that are available on CD, the other being "Happy Holidays - I Love The Winter Weather," which contains some very good earlier recordings. Both CDs are well worth purchasing. As on the earlier disc, the song selection and performances here are excellent all around.
Jo has a beautiful voice, and as the title of this album says, you get multiple, overdubbed voices from her, so it's more of a good thing. If I had to compare this album to someone else's music (not that Jo needs to be compared to anyone else for a recommendation), I'd say that this is what Les Paul and Mary Ford might have done if they had recorded an entire album of holiday favorites. (I wish they had -- their amazing "Christmas Song" single shows what they could have done with holiday standards.) There's a lot of well-played guitar here (albeit not quite as great as Les), and the multi-tracked voices are similar to what Les did with Mary's voice, although Jo and Mary obviously have different timbres.
In short, this album is well worth it if you like a jazzy or lounge sound with your Christmas cocktail."
JO COULD MAKE IT CHRISTMAS EVERY DAY !!!
Matthew G. Sherwin | last seen screaming at Amazon customer service | 01/10/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Joyful Season is, of course, primarily aimed at reaching people when Christmastime comes; but I also think that Jo Stafford's artistry was so special that you can actually enjoy this album practically any time of the year. Jo Stafford sang with all her heart and soul; she gave blood to make her style so fresh and sophisticated. The quality of the sound on this CD is excellent; and the artwork reflects good judgment as well.
"The Little Drummer Boy" starts the CD with Jo singing at her very best; and the multitrack system to create the effect of more than one Jo Stafford singing at once really adds to the beauty of this classic Christmastime ballad. "Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town," is, of course, less religious but it's all very enjoyable. "Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town" has a great melody with catchy lyrics and the percussion works very well for this tune. I really like "Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town" and I think that you will, too.
Jo also gives us her own rendition of a Bing Crosby standard holiday tune entitled "White Christmas;" this melancholy but very beautiful ballad is timeless and Jo never misses a single beat. Her timing is excellent and her perfect diction bolsters her performance. "Jingle Bells" gets a slightly faster tempo than usual but I enjoy it very much; and there's a great number with Jo singing "Merry Christmas" which was written by Jo's husband Paul Weston. "Merry Christmas" is a very pretty tune and I won't tire of hearing Jo Stafford singing this one anytime soon.
"Winter Wonderland" shines as Jo gives this the royal treatment; her ever so slight tempo changes really let her put her own mark on this classic wintertime song and "Winter Wonderland" has Jo never sounding better. Similarly, "Silent Night" charms me with its sweetness; Jo does a marvelous job as she sings "Silent Night." Listen also for a grand rendition of "Ave Maria;" Jo never sings a superfluous note and I'm very impressed.
Then come the medleys--two of them! The first features Jo singing "Hark The Herald Angels Sing/The First Noel/Come All Ye Faithful/Deck The Halls/O Come O Come Emmanuel;" and the background vocalists harmonize flawlessly. There is also Jo's medley of "Joy To The World/It Came Upon A Midnight Clear/Little Town Of Bethlehem/God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/Silent Night;" this is again very nicely done. The CD ends strong with Jo Stafford making an important statement about giving to needy children as she does "Toys For Tots" beautifully.
Overall, you can't go wrong with this CD if you like Jo Stafford, Christmastime songs or even just regular classic pop vocals. I happily recommend this album.