Monday, December 04, 2006

Musical Monday #12

Before hitting Musical Monday #12, stop by Teri's site and say hi!
Now that December is well ensconced in my mind, I suppose it's time to torture you with my favorite Christmas music. I'll be doing that all month, probably a couple of times/week. I'm a sucker for almost all types of Christmas music. I like the overblown arrangements with full choir and orchestra. I like jazz versions (Duke Ellington did a jazz version of "The Nutcracker" that is incredible!). I like offbeat parodies. I LOVE the Bob Rivers "Twisted Christmas" series. I'll even tolerate the Barking Dogs and the damned Chipmunks. I despise the live shows on the Christian networks with some washed-up singer with full orchestra. Showing in mid-October. I also despise what country singers tend to do with Christmas songs. Seems like it's a chance to add a handful of mediocre songs to an album. Of course, there's exceptions, but that's my general approach to what's out there.

I'll be picking out songs/versions that you may or may not have heard. As well as my opinions on some relatively obscure Christmas albums out there. The hardest thing about Christmas is that it takes a couple of generations for a song to really "make it" as a Christmas classic. The last "classic" was probably "The Christmas Song", written by Mel Tormé. Sure, there's been many fine recordings by current artists, but mostly performing one of the "classics". And there's probably a couple of candidates for "classic" status, but I don't know that they've quite made it. So how does an artist or band impress us with Christmas music? By presenting it in a way that we haven't heard or associated with the original.

Which brings us to today's selection. Russ Freeman is the guitarist/leader for the jazz fusion group "The Rippingtons". This is his Caribbean-esque version of "God Rest Ye, Gentlemen" from the album Holiday. It's got a great feel, and is quite surprising at first listen. Hell, even at the first hundred listens! I hope you like it!

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