Monday, November 30, 2009

Mad About Music Monday - Bela Fleck & The Flecktones: Jingle All the Way

Even though December isn't here yet, we're like Black Friday shoppers and we're starting a bit early. Throughout the month of December we will be highlighting different Christmas albums that we think you'd enjoy. First up, Bela Fleck and The Flecktones with Jingle All the Way. Creating a unique worldly Christmas disc, Bela Fleck, well-known banjoist collaborated with many artists for his 2008 release. According to a press release from his website, "Flecktones With Guest Elves Edgar Meyer, Andy Statman & Tuvan Throat Singers ‘The Alash Ensemble’ Contribute Renditions Of Everything From Bach To Rudolph, With Tributes To Joni Mitchell & Vince Guaraldi."

I'd say that the track with the Tuvan Throat Singers is the most interesting. While tones of What Child is This? plays in the background the Alash Ensemble play their native instruments while displaying their throat singing. You immediately are taken far away from your usual sleigh ride, snowman, chesnuts on the fire images we're used to. The singers are from Tuva, formerly part of both Chinese and Mongolian empires and shares many cultures with the Mongolian people. It nows resides in the Russian Republic, in the south of Russia near the Mongolian border.

Performing their version of 12 Days of Christmas

However Bela and his Flecktones don't stop there. According to Entertainment Weekly's review of the album, "Heavyweight players who make an endearing fusion, the Flecktones have a fine time roaming all over the musical map... it’s hard to resist a band that draws on bluegrass, funk, world music, pop and jazz with such glee and blissful lack of pretension." I really enjoy this album for it's unique qualities that only Bela Fleck and his banjo can bring. So here he and his Flecktones are performing with the Alash Ensemble their song "What Child Is This/Dyngyldai". Enjoy. 

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