Kenny G – The Classic Christmas Album (Arista / Legacy)
The multi-platinum artist has delved several times into the holiday vein. The Classic Christmas Album pulls from Miracles (1994), Faith (1999), and Wishes ((2002). Most of the tracks here have his signature soaring soprano sax throughout (wow, say that three times real fast).
There are times when he changes things up, like when he switches to alto for a tender reading of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” or the effervescent “Sleigh Ride,” that things really shine. But mostly, this is Kenny G at what he does best – light, non-offensive instrumental music. If anything, his later material lacks the energy of his earlier work. “Joy to the World” and “Jingle Bells” sound like color-by-numbers Kenny G. Still, with over 11 million holiday albums sold, he must be doing something right. –Tony Peters