It was with much trepidation that I faced listening to pianist Bill Harris’ Holiday Improvisations CD. Not because Harris is a bad player. Anything but—his playing is gloriously lyrical and robust, molded from countless hours of performing alone as the house pianist for the Willard Hotel’s currently dormant Nest jazz lounge. I was afraid because, as I flipped the CD over, the first track I saw listed was “Funky Bells (Jingle Bells),” a name-says-it-all rendition of the holiday fave. But Harris plays the tune with a restraint that makes it not only listenable, but enjoyable. His intensely melodic and lovely interpretations of the CD’s 14 other songs are equally engaging and show that as crass as the holiday season has become, there is still beauty to be found in it. Hear Harris in a trio setting from 6 to 9 p.m. at the BET on Jazz Restaurant, 730 11th St. NW. Free. (202) 393-0975. (Christopher Porter)