Ryuichi Sakamoto’s Playing the Piano has been my go-to album for the holiday season. Right off the opening “Amore” the vibe fits just right for the winter spirit. Sakamoto’s solo piano is relaxing and the way his fingers fall softly on the high keys is irresistible. The intimate setting continues on “Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence,” “The Sheltering Sky” and throughout the disc. I would love to listen to Playing the Piano on a snowy day accompanied by a book and save the second disc, Out of Noise, in which Sakamoto experiments with sound, for another time. The ambiance vibe is a complete different animal.