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The Spirit of Christmas

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The Spirit of Christmas

Current Status:
In Season
Ray Charles

We gave it an A-

By easing into its leadoff cut, ”What Child Is This,” as a bluesy crawl only to abruptly shift into a jazzy horn-soaked vamp, Ray Charles wastes no time setting the dual tones of this yuletide long player (all but one track of The Spirit of Christmas originally released in 1985). While his warm, avuncular rasp evokes images as traditional as a turkey dinner with stuffing, it’s that tension between swing and solemnity that makes it all his own. A-