Jayna Morgan & the Sazerac Sunrise Jazz Band, Mistletoe & Stockings (11th Commandments Records)

Jayna Morgan and the Sazerac Sunrise Jazz Band, Mistletoe and Stockings, album cover

What Morgan brings to Frenchmen Street—classic traditional swing music—is all captured mostly successfully on Mistletoe & Stockings. Pianist and flutist Meghan Swartz did nearly all of the arrangements, which are outstanding. The two original songs are my favorites. They are quirky and very melodic. Gerald French joins Morgan on the vocals for “Mistletoe and Stockings” while Morgan seductively sings “The Christmas Pussycat.” The band is terrific, and includes Tom Fischer, Kevin Louis, Gerald French, Kerry Lewis, Chris Alford, David Harris and Meghan Swartz. New Orleans musicians are smartly considered by including a Louis Prima composition “What Will Santa Claus Say When He Finds Everybody Swingin’” and two Louis Armstrong covers “’Zat you Santa Claus” and the upbeat “Christmas in New Orleans.” Although Jayna Morgan’s voice can carry these standards, she is clearly more comfortable with her originals and the upbeat numbers.