Allen Toussaint and Friends: A New Orleans Christmas
If you're looking for blues, you'll be hard-put to find a tougher blues groove than Grace Darling's "Merry Christmas, Baby." Is her tenor sax better than her singing? They're both way up there, sports fans. The ever-delightful New Birth Brass Band also stands out on "Santa's Second Line" and "Jingle Bells."
Worthy of note also is the ever-ready playing of Toussaint. His florid ragtime-flavored solo on "Winter Wonderland" shows the roots of the grooves on the other tracks. So even though it feels a bit strange to be listening to Christmas music in the middle of July, this disc will be of interest year-round to fans of Gospel-ly New Orleans funk. As a sampler it works wonderfully.
Tracks and personnel:Christmas This Year (Larry Hamilton); We Three Kings (Raymond Myles); New Year's Resolution (Larry Hamilton and Tricia Boutté); Santa's Second Line (New Birth Brass Band); Silent Night, Holy Night (Allen Toussaint); Christmas Comes But Once a Year (Wallace Johnson); Christmas in New Orleans (James Andrews); Jingle Bells (New Birth Brass Band); O Holy Night (Raymond Myles); The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) (Wallace Johnson); Winter Wonderland (Allen Toussaint); Do You Hear What I Hear? (Tricia Boutté); Merry Christmas, Baby (Grace Darling).
Record Label: NYNO