A Swingin' Christmas (Featuring The Count Basie Big Band)

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A Swingin' Christmas
Studio album by Tony Bennett & The Count Basie Big Band
Released October 14, 2008 (2008-10-14)
Recorded 2008
Genre Vocal jazz
Christmas music
Length 37:01
Label Columbia
Producer Phil Ramone
Tony Bennett & The Count Basie Big Band chronology
Duets: An American Classic
(2006)
A Swingin' Christmas
(2008)
Duets II
(2011)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[1]

A Swingin' Christmas is a Christmas album by Tony Bennett, released in 2008, that features The Count Basie Big Band. Bennett's daughter Antonia Bennett also duets with him on one track.

The album was nominated for Grammy Award for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album at the 52nd Grammy Awards.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "I'll Be Home for Christmas" (Gannon, Kent, Ram) [2:12]
  2. "Silver Bells" (Evans, Livingston) [3:17]
  3. "All I Want for Christmas Is You (A Christmas Love Song)" (Alan Bergman, Marilyn Bergman, Johnny Mandel) [4:18]
  4. "My Favorite Things" (Oscar Hammerstein II, Richard Rodgers) [2:55]
  5. "Christmas Time Is Here" (Guaraldi, Mendelson) [3:59]
  6. "Winter Wonderland" (Bernard, Smith) [2:31]
  7. "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" (Blane, Martin) [4:36]
  8. "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" (Coots, Gillespie) [2:53]
  9. "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm" – with Antonia Bennett (Berlin) [3:31]
  10. "The Christmas Waltz" (Cahn, Styne) [3:22]
  11. "O Christmas Tree" (Traditional) [3:27]

A great deal of retailers featured different variations:

  • Target carried an edition featuring a bonus DVD with a documentary on the making of the album as well as a host of concert performances.
  • FYE carried an edition featuring a bonus DVD with a documentary on the making of the album as well as a special holiday-themed postcard reproducing Bennett's artwork.
  • Borders carried a special edition featuring ten of Bennett's holiday-themed artwork postcards.
  • Barnes & Noble carried a special edition featuring Bennett's take on "Christmas Auld Lang Syne" exclusive to the retailer. They also carried a deluxe version featuring a DVD as well as the exclusive track.
  • Bloomingdales carried a special edition featuring Bennett's take on "Jingle Bells", exclusive to the retailer.

Personnel[edit]

Tony Bennett's combo[edit]

  • Monty Alexander – Piano
  • Paul Langosch – Bass
  • Harold Jones – Drums
  • Gray Sargent – Guitar
  • Lee Musiker – Piano (tracks 7, 9 and 11)

The Count Basie Orchestra[edit]

  • John Williams, Baritone Saxophone
  • Doug Miller, Tenor Saxophone
  • Grant Langford, Alto Saxophone
  • Marshall McDonald, Alto Saxphone
  • Doug Lawrence, Tenor Saxophone
  • Clarence Banks, Trombone
  • Alvin Walker, Trombone
  • Dave Keim, Trombone
  • Barry Cooper, Trombone
  • William "Scotty" Barnhart, Trumpet
  • Michael Williams, Trumpet
  • Kris Johnson, Trumpet
  • James Zollar, Trumpet

Production credits[edit]

  • Executive Producer: Danny Bennett
  • Producer: Phil Ramone
  • Music Director for Mr. Bennett: Lee Musiker
  • Recorded and Mixed by Dae Bennett
  • Production Manager and Contractor: Jill Dell'Abate
  • Production Coordinator: Vance Anderson
  • Live Sound: Tom Young with ACIR Pro Audio
  • Assistant Engineers: Alessandro Perrotta and Travis Stefl
  • Mastering: Bob Ludwig and Gateway Mastering, Portland, ME.
  • Art Direction and Design: John Cheuse
  • Cover Photography: Mark Seliger

Marketing campaign[edit]

To promote the release of the album Bennett granted numerous interviews, and made a number of television show performances, from the time of its release through the holiday season. This included a special free street performance outside of Bloomingdales department store at 4:30 p.m. on November 20 in New York City in which he performed three songs – "I'll Be Home For Christmas," "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" and "Jingle Bells" – prior to the unveiling of the store's Christmas window displays. He also performed a special one-off concert at New York's famed Apollo Theater on December 16, billed as his only show in direct support of the release with The Count Basie Big Band.

Chart performance and certifications[edit]

After debuting at #159 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, the album has thus far peaked at #28 in its sixth week on the chart. It also reached the zenith of the Billboard Top Jazz Albums in its seventh week on said chart.

References[edit]