New Christmas songs of quality are rare. Musician, composer, producer and lead sheet maven Don Sickler suggests that he has found one. The song began life with a title that hardly suggested Christmas. Its composer, the late pianist Eddie Higgins (pictured), recorded it as “Moonlight On Kinkakuji” with bassist Jay Leonhart and drummer Joe Ascione in his 2009 Venus album Portraits Of Love. With a key change and a lyric by Roger Schore, it became “Almost Christmas.” Sickler made videos of three versions of the song featuring Washington, DC, vocalist Lena Seikaly (pictured). Here, Ms. Seikaly sings it accompanied by the veteran pianist-bandleader Cecilia Coleman and bassist Kanoa Mendenhall, whom Sickler describes as “an 18-year-old rising star.”
In a popular music marketplace dominated by rock, hip-hop and country, I wonder whether any song can become a new holiday perennial. If that is possible, perhaps “Almost Christmas” has a chance.