1. Greg Page "Here Comes Christmas!"
You read my review - I absolutely loved this record, as enjoyable for us grown-ups as for the kids. Full of heart and Christmas wonder.
2. The Snow Globes "Milk and Cookies" EP.
The Snow Globes are a local (to me) Kansas City band that forms each November, plays the heck out of Christmas music for two months, then slips away until the next year. Somehow, I didn't find out about them until this year. They are soooooo good. This year, their EP, which is their 4th CD release in 5 years, gets my #2 spot. Look for a big story about The Snow Globes here next season. Until then, visit their website and listen to their marvelous Christmas tunes.
3. Elizabeth Chan "Red and Green"
Honestly, as long as Elizabeth Chan keeps putting out new music year after year, her albums will keep hitting my 'best of' list. No one embodies the true musical spirit of the holiday as much as Elizabeth. "Christmas in the City", her 2014 single, is a Christmas classic, and the rest of the world is starting to figure that out. I'm going to write about why this really is a Christmas classic in a post next season - I have my reasons :-)
4. Astrocolor "Lit Up"
One of the best original interpretation albums of Christmas music ever. It's mesmerizing.
5. Kylie Minogue "Kylie Christmas"
2015 was a definite down year for new "big" commercial Christmas releases, with Real Gone's re-masters taking the spotlight. But Kylie Minogue's record was a standout. Full of energy and fun, with a smattering of unexpected guest stars (Iggy Pop, need I say more), it was a very enjoyable record. I really don't need to ever hear "Santa Baby" or "Baby It's Cold Outside" again, but Kylie's takes on "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year" and "Christmas Wrapping" were excellent. Get the bonus edition with the DVD, so you can look at Kylie as she sings :-)
6. Jillaine and Jacob "Jazzy Duets for Christmas"
Sublime, reserved jazzy Christmas songs from our favorite chanteuse.
7. India Arie "Christmas with Friends"
And what a group of friends! Joe Sample. Trombone Shorty. Kirk Whalum. A laid-back album, perfect for a relaxing evening by the fire.
8. Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings "It's a Holiday Soul Party"
Lots of press for this, and well deserved. Joyful, stompin', shakin', party-on-dude Christmas record.
Honorable Mention: Thisbe Vos "A Jazzy Christmas"
Thisbe Vos gets an honorable mention because she topped my list last year after I got her album pre-release as a crowd-funding contributor. The official commercial release was this year, so I decided to add Thisbe's album to the list again because it is so wonderful. Folks, it is in my top 10 in my whole collection. Thisbe's vocals will make your heart melt. Sigh...
So that's the list for this year. If I have a panic attack when I realize an omission, I'll make it up with a later post. Follow the links embedded in the text above to visit these artists' websites.