"Chuck Brown puts some funk-swing-jazz into your typical Christmas standards like "Silent Night" and "White Christmas," that will get even the rhythmless toe-tapping. Don't miss the two duets with the brilliant Eva Cassidy, "The Christmas Song" and "That Spirit of Christmas." These two feature a mellow, yet angelic sounding Eva Cassidy, who will make you believe that Santa is, in fact, really on his way with lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh."
Chuck Brown/Eva Cassidy Christmas
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I understand Ms. Cassidy's fans disappointment in her limited use on this CD. However, during her illness and untimely passing, Mr. Brown wanted the world to hear this wonderful songbird. He and Chris Biondo (musician/producer/engineer on this CD) wanted Ms. Cassidy to get all the recognition, praises, and financial rewards overdue to her before she passed. Concert fundraisers were held for her to help pay medical costs. Her listings and credits on CD's may be Mr. Brown's way of seeing that her name and memory and possible royalties continue on. Her fans in Prince Georges County still mourn her passing."
A go-go Christmas
Audrey Codnere | Black Mountain, NC | 12/26/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"An upbeat joyful antidote to sometimes too somber Christmas CDs. Unlike Aaron Neville, Chuck Brown sounds like a robust man who is not on verge of keeling over. Don't expect an Eva Cassidy CD -- as advertised, she only appears on two tracks."
The Other Side of Christmas Music
Graham Hunt | Richmond, Virginia USA | 12/16/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Opening with a rousing go-go version of Charles Brown's "Merry Christmas Baby", this cd has the ability to kick-start a sluggish Christmas spirit and have you moving your behind while you bake your cookies. An uptempo "White Christmas" follows, including nice guitar (Chuck Brown) and Hammond organ (Benji Porecki) solos. "What Are You Doing New Years Eve" is a nice vehicle for Mr. Brown's rich voice and ranks above Nancy Wilson's version if, however, below the Orioles'. The Tracy Morgan Show recently had a plot line concerning the lack of a black Christmas song. I thought, as I watched, certainly "This Christmas" by Donny Hathaway qualifies as a Christmas standard along with "Merry Christmas Baby", and Mr. Brown includes both. Fitting "Silent Night" to a go-go beat doesn't seem easy at first, but gospel delivery/asides bring the listener back nicely to the core subject matter, after all. "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" is a haunting song to begin with. With strong percussion and guitar, and finishing off with a crunk saxophone solo, this is one of the two strongest songs on the cd. I sometimes have to sneak a listen in the off-season. A straight rendition of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" has Mr. Brown soaring on the lyrics before informing, "I wanna play my guitar, now". Eva Cassidy joins in for the last two songs(Listing the album as by Chuck Brown/Eva Cassidy would lead one to expect equal participation). A nice, jazzy version of "The Christmas Song", with some strange Hammond organ work by Hilton Felton is followed by the closing track. "That Spirit of Christmas" (recorded previously by Ray Charles) is the other track on this cd that I have to hear occasionally during the rest of the year. What a treat to have additional duets from these two singers. While this is not "Any Other Way To Go" for a Chuck Brown fan or "Songbird" for an Eva Cassidy fan, I, as a fan of both, have to have these versions of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" and "That Spirit of Christmas" in my collection."
A DC Legend's take on Christmas
James B. Ward | Manassas, VA | 12/19/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I DON'T understand anyone's disappointment that Eva Cassidy is only on two tracks here. It is a Chuck Brown album, NOT an Eva Cassidy album. I'm a big fan of both, (Their album together, "The Other Side" is one of my favorites). This is mostly Chuck doing the Go Go thing and nobody does it better. He slows it down on a couple of tunes, (and quite admirably I might add), but it's mostly a groovin' good time. As for Miss Cassidy's contributions, they are great, (and she is one of my favorite all time singers). Their take on "The Spirit of Christmas" even surpasses the superb Ray Charles original, (from my "other" favorite Christmas album, "The Spirit of Christmas", by Ray Charles."