Personnel: Destin Owens, Kent Monroe, Eliseo Rom n, Robert Fowler, Dennis Stowe, Norm Lewis, Darius de Haas, Billy Porter, John Parker , Michael Washington, Bradley Dean (vocals); Jay Berliner (guitar, banjo); Jary Berliner (guitar); Robert Zubricki, Rebekah Johnson, Laura Seaton, Rebekah Johnson (violin); Kenneth Burward-Hoy (viola); Lanny Paykin (cello); Seymour Red Press, Seymour "Red" Press (flute, alto flute, clarinet); William Galison (harmonica); Howard Howard, Howard T. Howard (French horn); Bruce Bonvisutto, Bruce Bonvissuto (trombone); Wally Harper (piano); Jim Saporito, James Saporito (percussion); Susan Jolles (harp); Kristina Musser, Barry Finclair, Maura Giannini, Lisa Matricardi, Mary L. Rowell, Suzanne Ornstein, Richard Sortomme, Mineko Yajima, Paul Woodiel (violin); David Blinn, Richard Brice (viola); Scott Ballantyne, Clay Ruede, Bruce Wang (cello); Michael Parloff (flute, alto flute); Lawrence Feldman (flute, clarinet); Melanie Feld (oboe, English horn); Russ Rizner-French, Sharon Moe, Roger Wendt (French horn); James Pugh, Jack Gale, Paul Faulise (trombone); Scott Cady (piano); John Beal (acoustic bass); Erik Charleston (percussion); Broadway Inspirational Voices.
Audio Mixer: Cynthia Daniels.
Liner Note Authors: Wally Harper; Barbara Cook .
Recording information: Sound on Sound, New York, NY (08/2003); The Hit Factory, New York, NY (08/2003).
Arranger: Wally Harper.
On COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS, vocalist Barbara Cook creates a charming addition to the Christmas music catalog. Teamed up with an orchestra and a small choir, Cook evokes the true spirit of the holiday. Larry Blank's orchestrations are lush, colorful, and warm. Moreover, Wally Harper, who arranged and conducted these sessions, spices things up with lovely vocal harmonies, courtesy of the Broadway Inspirational Voices. Throughout the album, the choir is used to create the effect of doorstep carolers.
Listeners are sure to enjoy the time-honored Yuletide tunes, including the pious "O Holy Night" and the dreamy "White Christmas." However, there are a few selections that are unusual--the traditional "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands," for example, is not a holiday song, yet due to the joyous lyric, it fits in perfectly with the rest of the repertoire. Cook's voice is carefree and inviting on this track, and the stripped-down arrangement works to wonderful effect. COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS is an exquisite holiday album by a singer who really knows how to breathe new life into familiar songs.