Easy Listening

Holiday For Swing! (CD)

Seth MacFarlane might be known more for being the king of crass animated shows like Family Guy and American Dad, but who knew the voice of Peter Griffin had the pipes to belt out holiday classics while simultaneously invoking the energy of Fred Astaire? Sprinkled with goofy humor and arrangements right out of Arthur Freed's MGM musicals, Seth MacFarlane plays it (mostly) straight with iconic vocalists like Norah Jones and Sara Bareilles joining in to add a bit more class to the mix. A couple of martinis and Holiday for Swing!, and December will feel like June in no time.

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In The Mood (CD)

After his 2013 GRAMMY winning Steppin Out, Herb Alpert, at 79 years old is still at it and making surprising innovative music in 2014. In The Mood is a spirited re-imagining of classic jazz tunes, as well as a few originals. Opening with the familiar Glenn Miller tune "Chattanooga Choo Choo," Herb's more modern arrangement is built on loops provided by his nephew Randy Badazz Alpert. "It's a little bit electronic, with some jazz floating over the top of it at times," Herb says. The album features inspired versions of "Begin The Beguine," the Everly Brothers tribute "Let It Be Me," as well as several tunes featuring the vocals of Lani Hall, the former singer of Sergio Mendes' Brasil '66 and Alpert's wife of 40 years. In The Mood proves it is always exciting to see a true artist forging a new way to approach his sound.

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