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HO HO WHO: Batiste and Brooks take a lighter touch on 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas' / Washington City Paper

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HO HO WHO: Jon Batiste, the New Orleans native who leads The Late Show's band, and Danielle Brooks, best remembered for her roles in Orange is the New Black and the most recent stage revival of The Color Purple, singing the purist tribute to the holiday season, "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." It's a task many have attempted and few have mastered, but Batiste and Brooks have just the right amount of name recognition to take a shot at the song Judy Garland made famous without making total fools of themselves. 

LET THE BEAT BE LIGHT: Garland and those that followed her tended to stretch the words and lean into the song's solemnity, but Batiste and Brooks take a lighter touch, filling the space between notes with finger snaps and riffs. It gives their version a bit more energy, and their quieter, less forceful vocals make the rendition seem casual, like a conversation between friends as opposed to a grand pronouncement about everything being awful.

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