Picks and Pans Review: Hipster's Holiday

updated 12/11/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/11/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

Various artists

Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Lionel Hampton, Eartha Kitt and the too-often-overlooked blues singer Julia Lee are among the jazz performers trying, with varying degrees of success, to get into the Christmas spirit in this intriguing Rhino anthology.

The highlights include Armstrong's "Christmas Night in Harlem," Lee's "Christmas Spirit," Pearl Bailey's "Five-Pound Box of Money," Lambert, Hendricks and Ross's "Deck Us All with Boston Charlie" and, for curiosity's sake, Davis playing trumpet behind Bob Dorough's vocal of "Blue Xmas," not to be confused with the much straighter "Blue Christmas."

The biggest blooper comes from neopopster Tim Fuller, whose Vegas-like version of "Silent Night"—not to be confused with the reverential way the song is commonly performed or even Dr. John's souped-up version on Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas—is, to be generous, an abomination. (Rhino)

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