Jonathan Butler is set to release his first-ever Christmas recording, Merry Christmas To You. The 10-song seasonal offering features classic tunes and holiday favorites performed in Butler’s smooth stylings of cool jazz and gospel. Released by Rendezvous Records, the CD will be available in stores and online on October 1, 2013.
“It’s a very proud moment for me to finally have a Christmas record, which has been a long time coming,” said Butler. “Christmastime is a special time, and I wanted to record some of the songs that have been favorites of mine over the years. I hope the CD brings holiday cheer and blesses people as we head into the holiday season.”
Produced and arranged by Butler, Merry Christmas To You features 10 tracks. Butler recorded eight Christmas chestnuts for the collection and penned a pair of new songs, including “Happy Holidays,” an ardent urban groove ornamented with riffs of cool jazz guitar.
High-profile horn men Dave Koz, Rick Braun and Paul “Shilts” Weimer contribute to the festivities on several tracks as does Butler’s daughter, vocalist Jodie Butler, and bassist Dan Lutz, who plays upright on a tune. But the heart of the intimate recording happens when Butler pours his impassioned voice and acoustic guitar into the seasonal songs. His arresting performances and
sparse production captivates, fostering an air of freshness to the evergreen material.
“These songs are beautiful on their own so I felt they didn’t need a lot of instrumentation, plus, I wanted my fans to have a personal Christmas message from me,” said Butler.
Merry Christmas To You opens with an energizing version of the Donny Hathaway soul classic “This Christmas.” Butler applies South African vocalization, chanting and rhythmic percussion to “Little Drummer Boy.” “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” “The First Noel,” “O Holy Night” and the lesser-known “Sweet Little Jesus Boy” are presented starkly, featuring show-stopping performances by the devoutly inspired man on his guitar.
1. This Christmas
2. Sleigh Ride
3. Merry Christmas To You
4. Happy Holidays
5. Little Drummer Boy
6. I’ll Be Home For Christmas
7. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
8. Sweet Little Jesus Boy
9. The First Noel
10. O Holy Night
Beginning November 30, Jonathan Butler will venture out on a three-week U.S. concert swing performing on the Dave Koz & Friends Christmas Tour during which he will share the stage with the charismatic sax star as well as keyboardist Keiko Matsui and vocalist Oleta Adams.
For the latest tour dates and more information on Jonathan Butler, visit JonathanButler.com.