- Released: September 1, 2001
- Label: Word Entertainment
Entertainment Weekly - 12/4/98, p.107
"The reigning queen of gospel weighs in with nontraditional pop-funk arrangments of Xmas chestnuts. While the settings may be a bit contemporary for Caeser's older fans, they can rejoice in her soaring, heartfelt vocals..." - Rating: B
- 1.Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
- 2.The Gift
- 3.Little Drummer Boy
- 4.Ave Maria
- 5.Do You Hear What I Hear
- 6.It Came Upon The Midnight Clear
- 7.What Are You Going To Name Your Baby
- 8.What Child Is This
- 9.Giving and Sharing
- 10.We Three Kings
- 11.O Christmas Tree
Personnel includes: Shirley Caesar (vocals); Jonathan DuBose (guitar); Desi Alston, Sona Hayes, Joan Hurley Myron Makris, Charlotte Paramore, Rachael Schenker, Nicole Sherry (violin); Mark Walker (bass).
Engineers include: Dave Gannon, Glen Barratt, Tom Petroski.
CHRISTMAS WITH SHIRLEY CAESAR won the 2000 Grammy Award for Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album.
Those looking for lush, unobtrusive readings of the Christmas standards might want to skip this set, dig out an old Bing Crosby Christmas album, and let another holiday season pass without incident. But for those who like their Yuletide chestnuts seasoned with more than a dash of funk and soul, CHRISTMAS WITH SHIRLEY CAESAR is a sure bet.
The introductory "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" has never sounded more inspired than it does here, with its thick electric bassline, bubbly percussion, and a powerful female backing choir. "Do You Hear What I Hear?" is given a treatment so sensuous that it's easy to forget the song isn't the singer's own. Caesar does contribute two originals to the set, namely the funky synth-driven "What Are You Gonna Name Your Baby" and the balladic "Giving and Sharing." Caesar also softens the proceedings when necessary, delivering instrumentally spare versions of "O Christmas Tree" and "Ave Maria" with deeply felt reverence.