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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, John Eyles, Jack Ashby

Budget price

Grover Washington JR

Breath of Heaven

A Holiday Collection

Columbia CK 68527




  1. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
  2. Breath Of Heaven (Mary’s Song)
  3. The Love In His Infant Eyes
  4. Away In a manger
  5. I Wonder as I Wander
  6. Christmas Time Is Here
  7. The Magi’s Song/A Child is Born
  8. Jesu (Joy of Man’s Desiring)
  9. The Christmas song
  10. The Christmas Waltz
  11. Christmas Day Chant
  12. Breath of Heaven (instrumental version)

Grover Washington became famous for his so-called ‘crossover’ albums, sanitised jazz for consumption by the general public. It is a difficult road to follow because it inevitably leads to ‘muzac’ as the thought that even more sanitisation will bring bigger and bigger sales. Don’t get me wrong Grover is obviously a very good player, but on this kind of album ‘swing’, that thing that jazz is about tends to disappear. This CD is fine to play on the hi-fi whilst you having your Christmas Dinner, there is enough jazz feel on some tracks like Away in a Manger to keep a jazz person happy and nothing to bring on a spasm from your old aunt! I agree with Grover’s remarks on the sleeve note, most of these tunes are too good to be only heard in one week of each year.

This is a re-release of a 1997 album at a budget price (around £5) and at that price it is worth buying as background music for the Christmas period, it has little to do with jazz however. How much better The Christmas Song would have sounded if the rock rhythm had been left out of the theme statement.

Don Mather



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