Ho, Ho, Oh! Sylvia Bennett

I’m a sucker for Christmas music.  When I was a kid, I’d play it year round; these days, my son jokingly warns that the police will come knocking at the door.

But even he says it’s “legal” on Thanksgiving morning.

I’ve written about some of my perennial favorites before, here, and here and here.  The Carpenters Christmas album remains the gold standard for me, but among the newer favorites are the Mantini Sisters and Emilie-Claire Barlow.

Let’s talk about one that will be in heavy rotation at Casa Boynton this year.

bennett200-1Sylvia Bennett – It’s Christmas Time
(Out Of Sight Music)
Released – 2009

Traditional with a twist, Sylvia Bennett’s “It’s Christmas Time” is a holiday offering with a lot of appeal.  The disc opens with one of four originals penned by Ms. Bennett and Producer Hal Batt, “A Rainbow Christmas,” complete with a children’s choir; it sounds so classic, you’ll swear you’ve heard it before.

Ms. Bennett performed with Lionel Hampton for ten years, starting in the late 80s, recording two albums with him.  Classic and classy, she brings warmth and style to the lyrics.

Sax man Ed Calle has great solo turns on “Winter Wonderland,” and another original, “Christmas Lights.”  Aside from a hip-hop tinged “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town,” everything here will sit with the rest of the chestnuts in the Christmas mix just fine.

The recording mix seems to overpower Ms. Bennett’s fine voice at times; not a small quibble, but not one that gets in the way of enjoying this fine disc, either.  This is a great mix of both classic tunes – and a couple that may well become classics.

Highly recommended.


So long as we’re talking Christmas, we may as well talk Christmas movies.  For me, there’s none better than “White Christmas.” Maybe you remember Bing and Danny – I remember Rosie and Vera-Ellen.

Interesting trivia about Vera-Ellen – from Wikipedia, sort of confirming the obvious: “During the 1950s, (Vera-Ellen) was reputed to have the “smallest waist in Hollywood”, and is believed to have suffered from anorexia nervosa. All of her costumes in White Christmas, down to her robe and sleepwear, were designed to cover her neck, which was aged beyond her years due to her eating disorder.”

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