DarkoV, the Delawarean DJ, begins his list of The 12 Discs Of Christmas here. Some of the usual suspects are mentioned. Personally, I think there's no better way to soothe my inner Scrooge than by calming me down with Vince Guaraldi, and following that up with a cool shot of happy via Charles Brown. Given how they both have prominent places on DarkoV's list, the ones I've yet to spin look very promising indeed.
Unlike my encyclopedic friend, I couldn't list 12 Christmas discs without including a little padding -- and, frankly, padding is the last thing any of us needs this holiday. But over the next 12-ish days I'll opine on a particular Christmas aural offering. I might as well start with the most current, and the most disposable: Verve Remixed Christmas (A).
So long as the listener's expectations are properly braced, "disposable" is a laudable quality. Neither sensational nor galling, this collection of tweaked treasures from the Verve back-catalog offers its services as pleasant aural wallpaper for large social gatherings. The Orb's jigging of Louis Armstrong's "What A Wonderful World" remains the most interesting track: Satchmo's voice receives a light layer of static, giving his delivery a distant, spectral quality. This can evoke longing and dismay in equal measure, particularly when an industrial beat marches purposefully over the orchestration. There is an adventurousness that The Orb bring to the kitchen that I much prefer over, say, the schmaltz-drenched ladling that lang & Bennett served up in aught-one.
Otherwise, the collection remains inoffensive, if unremarkable filler. It can be inexpensively downloaded at iTunes, which is the way to go with this collection. You don't need the disc cluttering up your CD shelf, and given the compression of Verve's soundfiles I very much doubt there is any difference between what you get online and what you get on the disc. Besides, there is nothing on this disc likely to become a classic of the ages. That is not at all a bad thing, particularly during a Christmas which will require us all to be as "in the moment" as we can.