Harvey Pekar, the comic depressive of American Splendor fame, says of these downbeat jazz numbers: “at least most of them don’t have that rah-rah, sis-boom-bah it’s Christmas spirit.” True enough. Unfortunately, songs by Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald and Spike Jones about Santa disappointments are more depressingly cute than cutely depressing. But it’s not all lumps of coal. The album closes with pianist Eric Reed’s funky instrumental “Christmas Blues,” a prize akin to scoring the wishbone at turkey dinner.
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