Christmas Lights

Christmas Lights

Doug Hammer

Self-released

Pianist Doug Hammer’s second holiday release is a beaut! Seventeen carols and one wintry/seasonal original performed on piano in a relaxed manner make Christmas Lights a fantastic backdrop for quiet relaxing during this ultra-busy time of year. While his arrangements of these time-tested classics sometimes spin off into original improvisation, he does so with style and grace. Some carols get an energetic treatment. “Deck the Halls” is giddy and fun-filled, and Hammer infuses some serious jazz/boogie-woogie for a particularly grin-inducing, toe-tapping take on “Good King Wenceslas.” But, most of what’s here is low key, making it an ideal late-night listen.

August 1, 2016
Reviewed by: 
Bill Binkelman