Brian Setzer Orchestra

Best of Collection: Christmas Rocks!

I love traditional holiday songs. I’ll take Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” any day over the latest holiday hits. That was true, at least, until I heard the Brian Setzer Orchestra’s new jam-packed CD featuring the best of the group’s two previous Christmas-music releases. Mixing traditional Christmas songs with a big-band swing-rock sound, the group’s take on classics is a refreshing change from holiday standards. The band puts its spin on Bach’s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” and “In the Mood,” made famous by the original holiday-music big band, the Glenn Miller Orchestra. Setzer does both proud, keeping the integrity of the music while adding electric guitar and extra Christmas lyrics to make “In the Mood” a holiday song: “Santa’s gonna leave his crib up north of the pole, dude is always stylin’ that’s the way that he rolls, we’ll be hanging stockings when the lights are down low, we’ll listen to some music by Nat King Cole.” For this holiday traditionalist, my toes were even tapping to Setzer’s rendition of “White Christmas.” This is a great set of upbeat, energetic holiday tunes. Also available in the Ultimate Collection, with a bonus holiday concert DVD.