Christmas Wish (Blue Note/Decca)
Gregory Porter’s first festive-themed album, Christmas Wish, features new songs as well as top-notch interpretations of soul and jazz standards by Marvin Gaye, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald and Dinah Washington. With Grammy-winning singer Samara Joy guesting on Porter’s smooth and slick version of Frank Loesser’s What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?, the quality of Christmas Wish is high throughout, a prime example being Porter’s interpretation of Gaye’s Motown festive staple Purple Snowflakes.
The standout track, though, is Porter’s hauntingly beautiful piano-led creation Everything’s Not Lost, an offer of hope to those who are suffering or struggling. As a whole, there is absolutely nothing condescending about Christmas Wish: refreshing, given that modern-day festive albums can be the proverbial turkeys. The heart, soul and conscience displayed here should resonate long after the festivities have finished.
words DAVID NOBAKHT