Personnel: Harry Connick, Jr. (vocals, piano); Lucien Barbarin (vocals, trombone); Neal Caine (vocals, bass instrument); Kate Connick, Kim Burrell (vocals); Jonathan DuBose, Jr. (guitar); Charles "Ned" Goold (alto saxophone); Jerry Weldon (tenor saxophone); David Schumacher (baritone saxophone); Joe Magnarelli, Tony Kadleck, Roger Ingram (trumpet); Jeff Bush, Dion Tucker (trombone); Joe Barati (bass trombone); Arthur Latin (drums, percussion); James Hall Worship & Praise Choir, James Hall & Worship & Praise (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Vincent Caro .
Recording information: Avatar Recording Studios, New York, NY (08/21/2008-08/30/2008); Legacy Recording Studios, New York, NY (08/21/2008-08/30/2008).
Photographer: Palma Kolansky.
Arranger: Harry Connick, Jr.
With his silken, suave, self-assured vocals recalling a cross between Nat "King" Cole and Frank Sinatra, Harry Connick Jr. has a natural voice for celebrating Christmastime. So it's no surprise that with the 2008 holiday season in full swing, Connick returns with his third holiday record, the sprightly WHAT A NIGHT! A CHRISTMAS ALBUM. As it is with his non-Yuletide LPs, WHAT A NIGHT! is a medley of his nimble, elegant takes on time-tested classics and disarming originals. The set opens on Connick's vibrant re-envisioning of "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," heavy on exotic percussion and redolent of his New Orleans roots, yet based in its original impassioned swing. The title track, a ballad penned by Connick, shimmers with open-fire-roasted chestnuts warmth and collective cheer. Perhaps the most beguiling moment is his gentle, unadorned, unearthly version of the melancholy "I'll Be Home For Christmas," a unique yet unassuming take on the well-traveled tune.