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Vanessa Williams (R&B): Silver & Gold

Track List

>Silver and Gold
>Joy to the World
>Mary's Little Boy Child
>Silent Night - (featuring Cormac Breatnach/Martin Dunlea)
>Winter Weather
>Little Drummer Boy, The
>Merry Christmas, Darling
>Rise Up, Shepherd and Follow
>I Dream a World (Prelude) - (featuring Ossie Davis)
>December Lullaby
>Holly and the Ivy, The - (featuring Cormac Breatnach/Martin Dunlea)
>Christmas Is
>Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Album Notes

Personnel: Jan Folkson (programming).

Audio Mixer: Ray Bardani.

Recording information: Abbey Road, UK; Angel Studios, UK; Sound On Sound, NYC.

Editors: Jan Folkson; Andy Snitzer.

Photographer: Rod Spicer.

Arranger: Rob Mathes.

From her earliest lush R&B ballads, Vanessa Williams' voice could conjure up a safe haven of warmth from the bluster of the world. Like Star Bright, Williams' previous holiday album, 2004's Silver & Gold evokes a roaring fire and shelter from a swirling storm, capturing the peace within the spirit of Christmas.

Williams opens with the Johnny Marks-penned title-track classic, a perfect fit for her voice, delivered sweetly and serenely. She quickens the pace on the next song, a lively version of "Joy to the World" that pairs her singing with the dulcet tones of Brian McKnight, followed by a host of standards performed with flair, particularly her almost haunting rendition of "The Little Drummer Boy." Later she changes the tone by bringing in the incomparable voice of veteran actor Ossie Davis to read Langston Hughes' words on "I Dream a World," the prelude to the new, jaunty R&B number "December Lullaby." Williams closes with the impeccable choice of the timelessly pretty "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," a fitting end to a soulful Yuletide collection. ~ Jason Thurston


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