479

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy: Everything You Want For Christmas

Mark Sabbatini By

Sign in to view read count
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy: Everything You Want For Christmas Even as a ho-hum host, it's hard not to have fun at a Big Bad Voodoo Party.



Everything You Want For Christmas may not quite live up to its name, but it's a lively and reliable collection for those holiday mixers. The band adopts the eleven songs reasonably well to their horn-heavy modern swing, but somehow the result feels more professional than inspired—sort of like a quality team dismantling a poor foe methodically, but with their eye on next week's key rival.



The game plan is solid. The album opens with "Rockabilly Christmas," an up-tempo crowd pleaser and introduction to the band, albeit with any individual moments of note. The mid-tempo shift on "Merry Christmas Baby" allows lead vocalist and guitarist Scotty Morris to get in some blues licks. Anyone familiar with BBVD probably knows "Mr. Heatmeiser" (best known from the TV show "The Year Without A Santa Claus") is the quintessential holiday song for this band.



It's all there and yet something is... missing. Maybe it's that Morris just doesn't have the oomph of earlier and better years. Maybe the horns are too sterile. Or that pianist Joshua Levy's riffs feel a bit worn-out from too much use.



Still, this is mostly up-tempo music with horns that doesn't take itself to extremes, a welcome change of pace from traditional carols and hypermodern hip-pop. About half of the songs are recognizable standards. There are also originals, such as Morris' "Rockabilly Christmas" and his bar-hopping tale telling on the rockish "Last Night I Went Out With Santa Claus." The so-called "bonus track" at the end is an instrumental "Jingle Bells" with some nice rock 'n' roll sax licks, albeit a bit repetitive. There aren't a lot of actual misfires, although it's hard to believe BBVD members didn't know from the beginning that a song like "Blue Christmas" is a terrible fit for this group's style.



Fans will do just fine with the album, those merely interested in this style of caroling might want to fish around the listening bin a bit first. It's hard to say if BBVD dialed things back a bit for the holidays or if maybe longevity is simply catching up with them, but in the end they're hosting a party more suited for the office than an uninhibited bash at home.

Track Listing: Rockabilly Christmas; Merry Christmas Baby; Mr. Heatmiser; Blue Christmas; Last Night (I Went Out With Santa Claus); Christmastime in Tinsel Town; Party for Santa; Jingle Bells (Cha Cha); Is Zat You Santa Claus?; We Three Kings; Bonus Track

Personnel: Ira Nepus, bass and tenor trombones; Lee Thornburg, trumpet; Alex Henderson, bass and tenor trombones; Ruben Estrada, vibraphone; Karl Hunter, bass clarinet, saxophones, clarinet, flute; Andy Rowley, baritone sax, vocals; Scotty Morris, vocals, guitar; Joshua Levy, piano; Dirk Shumaker, vocals, acoustic bass; Kurt Sodergren, drums; Glen "The Kid" Marhevka, trumpet; Brent Harding, acoustic bass; Dennis Faris, trumpet; Ronnie Manaog, glockenspiel, marimba, tympani, sleigh bells, wood block; Greg Varlotta, banjo; Lenny Castro, percussion

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Vanguard Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Rags And Roots CD/LP/Track Review Rags And Roots
by James Nadal
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Tangled CD/LP/Track Review Tangled
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Is It Me...? CD/LP/Track Review Is It Me...?
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Live CD/LP/Track Review Live
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 25, 2017
Read 14.11.2016 CD/LP/Track Review 14.11.2016
by Nicola Negri
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Malnoia CD/LP/Track Review Malnoia
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 24, 2017
Read "Poetry For The Beat Generation" CD/LP/Track Review Poetry For The Beat Generation
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: December 11, 2016
Read "Sélébéyone" CD/LP/Track Review Sélébéyone
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 6, 2016
Read "Furiously Dreaming" CD/LP/Track Review Furiously Dreaming
by Dave Wayne
Published: July 1, 2016
Read "Desire & Freedom" CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by John Sharpe
Published: January 25, 2017
Read "Good 'n' Cheap: The Eggs Over Easy Story" CD/LP/Track Review Good 'n' Cheap: The Eggs Over Easy Story
by Doug Collette
Published: July 3, 2016
Read "Signature" CD/LP/Track Review Signature
by Chris Mosey
Published: August 17, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!