358

Various Artists: New Orleans Christmas

Ernest Barteldes By

Sign in to view read count
Various Artists: New Orleans Christmas
With so much holiday music appearing on the shelves at this time of year, it's refreshing when an album can actually surprise you instead of giving up the same old usual boring caroling. What you get instead from the one is an earnest, honest glimpse of what Christmas in New Orleans might be like.

The disc opens with a right-down-to-business ragtime version of "Santa Claus is Coming To Town, which features Big Al Carson with Lars Edegran (of Pretty Baby's soundtrack). The song becomes the perfect introduction to kick off the rest of the cleverly selected tracks. This is followed by the idyllic view of Yuletide down on Bourbon Street through the groove of James Andrews' "Christmas in New Orleans.

One track that immediately caught my attention is Ingrid Lucia's "'Zat You, Santa Claus? , which is almost a more playful take on "Santa Baby, arguably the sexiest Christmas song ever (sadly, there is no recording of that one here). Lucia's voice bears a close resemblance to that of Billie Holiday. I noticed, however, that she is not trying to emulate Lady Day, but she does have that same honk and style (enough to send chills down your spine). Another great moment is "Silver Bells, which features the Heritage Jazz Band with Gregg Stafford.

No New Orleans collection would be complete without the presence of the Marsalis family—and here we have the clan's patriarch, Ellis, delivering an upbeat version of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, exploring the song's melody and cleverly improvising on it. One might expect crassness from yet another recording of "White Christmas. Instead, we find here a fresh take on the classic tune delivered by John Boutté, who brings a cheerful, party-like feel to it.

New Orleans Christmas sounds good even after repeated hearings, and this musically rich, cliché-free album can even be enjoyed outside the season.

Track Listing

Santa Claus is Comin' to Town; Christmas in New Orleans; 'Zat You, Santa Claus?; Silver Bells; I'll Be Home For Christmas; Please Come Home for Christmas; God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen; White Christmas; Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas; New Birth Brass Band; Santa's Second Line; Dukes of Dixieland; Holiday Time in New Orleans.

Personnel

Various Artists.

Album information

Title: New Orleans Christmas | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Putumayo World Music

Tags

View events near New Orleans
Jazz Near New Orleans
Events Guide | Venue Guide | Get App | More...

Shop Amazon

More

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.