This review of the CD "Christmas Cocktails" was written by Marle Becker and appeared in Volume I, Issue 1 (November, 1997) of Applause! Applause! published by Dr. Thomas Robert Stevens.
"Christmas Cocktails" - Various Artists
(Capitol Records, CDP-52559)
Following in the footsteps of the fifteen or more CD's in Capitol's enormously successful and satisfying Ultra-Lounge series - and just in time for Christmas - comes, what else but "Christmas Cocktails". A little bit of be-bop, a little bit of sentiment; from Billy May's "Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer Mambo" (originally released as a single in 1953) to Ray Anthony's previously un-released cover of "We Wish You A Merry Christmas", here's the CD to put you in the mood for the holidays whether you like it or not.
Produced by Wayne Watkins and compiled by Bruce Benedict, "Cocktails" also features such treats as Julie London, the Hollyridge Strings, and Lou Rawls, nicely showcased in one CD. For those who love the season, here's the perfect companion to enhance the festivities; for the grumps and grouches who can't wait for the holidays to be over, its just campy enough to help you bide your time. But camp or not, "Christmas Cocktails" is by far the best and most fun of all the compilations in the Christmas bins at your local record store. Besides, where else can you hear Kay Starr's "(Everybody's Waitin' For) The Man With The Bag"?
Don't pass this one up; it's pure heaven; the perfect stocking stuffer. Happy Holidays!