Original LP issued by Hep' Me records.
Personnel: Johnny Adams (vocals); Jimmie Moliere, Walter Washington (guitar); Sam Henry Jr. (piano, organ, Arp String Ensemble, synthesizer, percussion); Raymond Jones (piano, organ); Issac Bolden (piano); Bratt James (bass); Benson Dupre, Danny Jones (drums).
Recorded at Sea Saint Studio, New Orleans, Louisiana. Includes liner notes by Almost Slim a.k.a. Jeff Hanusch.
It's hard to compete with the production values of Phil Spector's legendary A CHRISTMAS GIFT FOR YOU, but the singing on A CHRISTMAS WITH JOHNNY ADAMS is so nonpareil that you'll neither mind nor notice. Adams is one of the unheralded masters of real R&B and soul. Here he wraps his soaring pipes around a nice collection of holiday tunes, both sacred and secular.
Though the arrangements on A CHRISTMAS… tend toward traditional gospel, Mel Torme's "Christmas Song" and the straight blues of "Lonesome Christmas" are urbane exceptions. As always, Adams sings every note as if his life depended on it. He makes particularly good use of his stratospheric falsetto on "O Little Town of Bethlehem" and "The Bells of St. Mary."