This review of Joni James' reissue of 2 classic holiday LP's on 1 CD, which includes "Merry Christmas From Joni" and "Give Us This Day - Songs Of Inspiration" was written by Marle Becker and appeared in Volume I, Issue 1 (November, 1997) of Applause! Applause! published by Dr. Thomas Robert Stevens.
"Two Classic Holiday Albums from Joni James" - Joni James
(Taragon Records, TARCD-3004)
To Joni James fans, her here's-my-heart-on-my-sleeve delivery has always been, and continues to be, one of the singer's major trademarks. Nowhere is that distinction more evident than on the reissue of 2 classic holiday LP's on 1 admirably fine CD: "Merry Christmas from Joni" and "Give Us This Day - Songs of Inspiration".
The Christmas portion covers carols and such heirlooms as "The Christmas Song" and Irving Berlin's "White Christmas", while the inspirational half - though never preachy or didactic - features such gems as "Count Your Blessings" and "You'll Never Walk Alone".
The benchmark here, however, is her recording of "Christmas and You", a big hit for the winsome singer in the early 50's. Though other singers have covered this treasure, Joni's remains the original and the ultimate; worth the price of the CD alone.
Ms. James, whose recent return to the concert stage has critics searching for new adjectives and audiences on their feet begging for more, has personally guided and supervised the transition from vinyl to state-of-the-art CD and the result is another superb performance from the legendary songbird.
The perfect gift for every music lover on your shopping list. And while you're at it, don't forget to check out the other treasures in the "Joni Collection". If your record store doesn't have it, contact Taragon directly at 516-242-8760.