Album Review

Crooner Anthony Caceres' "A Very Special Christmas" delivers holiday warmth

Anthony Caceres - A Very Special Christmas

Crooner Anthony Caceres has written a Valentine for Christmas, a warm and emotionally uplifting respite from these cold, wintry days. "A Very Special Christmas" distinguishes itself from the deluge of holiday music by taking a personal approach to season's greetings; it is basically a love letter wrapped with a bow. Given the saturation of Yuletide songs, past and present, it's hard to avoid clichés but Cacares escapes such a problem. The track is sweet without any artificial flavors; the feelings here are honest and real.

Although it can cross over into Adult Contemporary, the musicianship on "A Very Special Christmas" is no mere slick AM radio studio craft. Caceres comes from a family of respected artists; he is the grandson of swing violinist Emilio Caceres and the grand nephew of baritonist and clarinetist Ernie Caceres, who worked with Glenn Miller. Caceres' honeyed vocals and tasteful, slightly funky bass give "A Very Special Christmas" an irresistible appeal. It is as soothing as the best smooth jazz and even builds up steam when Caceres and guitarist Greg Petito start to jam near the end.