Ella Fitzgerald, 'Ella Wishes You A Swinging Christmas' (1960)
On the album-opening blitz through "Jingle Bells," the First Lady of Jazz swings with such snowdrift-leaping abandon that the poor ponies pulling her one-horse open sleigh should've filed for worker's comp. That breezily contagious spirit never lets up on this wonderful album, recorded in the summer of 1960 with an orchestra conducted by Frank De Vol (whose credits include the Brady Bunch theme). On cuts like "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow" and "Winter Wonderland," Fitzgerald extends her vowels like she's stretching a Christmas bow to the stars – and when she's really feeling good, she punctuates songs with lip-smacking exclamations like "I'm just wild about hors-es!" Yee-ha!
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