Funky Christmas | Bleader

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Funky Christmas

Posted By on 12.23.09 at 10:00 AM

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

In the Christmas Groove
  • In the Christmas Groove
When December rolls around, I rarely have much time to listen to Christmas music—hell, I haven’t even checked out Bob Dylan’s album, which intrigues me on so many different levels. Too often I’m trying to power through my never-shrinking pile of still-unheard stuff from 2009 as I wrestle with the infuriating task of putting together the customary best-of-the-year lists. (Mine will be coming on this blog in early January.) But of the new holiday-themed releases I did get to spend a little time with, I especially enjoyed In the Christmas Groove, a nice collection of seasonal funk from Strut Records. Even the cover is a kick: It’s a fun tweak of James Brown’s In the Jungle Groove.

The only artist on the comp I recognized by name was bluesman Jimmy Reed, who’s represented by the surprisingly funky “Christmas Present Blues.” Milly & Silly’s instrumental “Getting Down for Xmas” is a swaggering funk jam made seasonally appropriate with some sleigh bells and a few sly references to popular holiday melodies; the droning, appealingly amateurish “Home on Christmas Day,” by a group from Barbados called Captain Elmo McKenzie & the Roosters, gets over on raw sentiment. Most of the dozen tracks were released only as singles, often as B sides, and honestly if it weren’t for the holiday theme I probably wouldn’t have bothered listening to the whole disc. But I don’t ask as much from Christmas music as I do from my regular listening—I doubt many people do—and when you consider some of the other options out there, In the Christmas Groove looks pretty good.

Today’s playlist:

Donny McCaslin, Declaration (Sunnyside)
Paquito Hechavarría, Frankly (Sony Music Latin)
Die Enttäuschung, Die Enttäuschung (Intakt)
Buika y Chucho, El Ultimo Trago (Warner Music Latino)
Harris Eisenstadt, Canada Day (Clean Feed)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Peter Margasak

Agenda Teaser

Music
Lucifer, Spell, Black Road Reggie's Rock Club
March 21
Performing Arts
Blue Man Group Briar Street Theatre
August 14

Tabbed Event Search

The Bleader Archive

Popular Stories