I’m not sure any album says Christmas to me more than The Manhattan Transfer’s A Christmas Album.
I got it in 1992 when it was brand new and I was brand new to vocal jazz. I listened to it obsessively every December, long before I was exposed to many of my other favorites – The Singers Unlimited, Take 6, The Real Group.
For me, no album has that “Christmas sound” more than this album – it’s a gem from beginning to end – from the rich Puerling chords to the great solo phrasing and high-energy swing. It was a classic from the very beginning, and a testament to the staying power of The Manhattan Transfer that they released it nearly 20 years into a career that now stands at over 40 years.
Do yourself a favor and make sure it’s in your Christmas rotation. (And this should serve as a reminder to de-professionalize your Christmas listening!)