Herb Alpert turned to jazz's Shorty Rogers for voice and string arrangements on his Christmas album, and Rogers in turn went all out for schmaltz. Rogers' cooing voices introduce several of the tunes, whereupon the Tijuana Brass do their mostly unrelated Ameriachi thing familiar from past albums. Indeed, Las Mananitas seems to have been lifted from an obscure B-side of a 45 and overdubbed with the Rogers treatment. Jingling bells is a recurring song theme -- first with Jingle Bells, then the cloying The Bell That Couldn't Jingle, and ultimately Jingle Bell Rock. For the first time in a long time, Alpert's sense of pacing occasionally goes awry; My Favorite Things nearly comes apart in the silences and piano/vocal interlude between the TJB grooves, and Sleigh Ride screeches to a dead halt. And yet time and further exposure has revealed this record's homey charms, which no doubt is one reason why it continues to be available.
01 Winter Wonderland 02 Jingle Bells 03 My Favorite Things 04 The Christmas Song 05 Las Mananitas 06 Sleigh Ride 07 The Bell That Couldn't Jingle 08 Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! 09 Jingle Bell Rock 10 Jesu, Joy Of Man's Desiring