Personnel: Judy Collins (vocals, piano, keyboards); Judy Collins; Russell Walden (keyboards); Cathedral Choir of St. John the Divine, St. Thomas Boys Choir, Tyne Daly (vocals); Ned Rorem (piano); Steve Skinner, Joseph Joubert (keyboards).
Audio Mixer: Alan Silverman.
Recording information: Wildflower Studios, NY, NY.
Photographer: Shonna Valeska.
Arranger: Judy Collins.
Judy Collins has enjoyed a long, popular career as a folk musician, so it is nice to see her flex her musical muscles and attempt some holiday favorites. Despite a few hammy moments, All on a Wintry Night is a first-class Christmas album, filled with beautiful performances and understated arrangements. Collins has a wonderful voice, and puts it to good use on tracks like "The Blizzard," where she manages to capture the magic and beauty of a snow storm in a simple piano ballad. She takes on lesser known carols such as "In the Bleak Midwinter" and "Wexford Carol," and puts them among some of the better known favorites. The album does take a very Christian point of view, and may put off those who do not share her religious viewpoints. And her spoken-word intro to "Away in a Manger" is simply too cheesy, detracting from an otherwise good song. But these complaints are easy to overlook if only because of the quality of the music. In a music scene glutted with terrible Christmas albums, it is nice to see one artist do it right and really put her heart into the project. Any fan of good Christmas music will probably enjoy this unique album. ~ Bradley Torreano