This is as far removed from The Escalator Over The Hill, as you can imagine, but it is fun. The arrangements are excellent, the redefinition of these songs to a jazz environment work well (or blues, just listen to "It Came Upon A Midnight Clear"), with the necessary dose of fun thrown in the mix ("Jinge Bells" is just fabulous), but without ever becoming irreverent. It is an exercise in style, but a great one. The Partyka Quintet is an excellent ensemble, and hearing Steve Swallow's fabulous bass-playing is always a treat.
It is a little bit of a tear-jerker, but as said, why not? This is so much more listenable than all the other Christmas music that is being released. And if it is a little commercial, well, then I hope it sells.
Listen and download from iTunes.