Monday, December 7, 2009

Mad About Music Monday - Putumayo Presents: A Jazz & Blues Christmas

Last week we started the Christmas season early by beginning a month-long series of Christmas music featured in our Music Monday slot. Last week we featured a more worldly-sounding record, this week we're featuring a soulful, jazzy Christmas album. If you missed last week's post, we highlighted Bela Fleck & The Flecktones' Grammy Award Winning album, Jingle All the Way. This week we feature "A Jazz & Blues Christmas" a CD compilation put together by Putumayo World Music.

Putumayo World Music is company that produces a series of CD's from around the globe. To quote them from their website, "In the past fifteen years, the label has become known primarily for its upbeat and melodic compilations of great international music characterized by the company's motto: “guaranteed to make you feel good!” Putumayo’s CD covers feature the distinctive art of Nicola Heindl, whose colorful, folkloric style represents one of Putumayo's goals: to connect the traditional to the contemporary. By combining appealing music and visuals with creative retail marketing, Putumayo has developed a unique brand identity, a rarity in today's artist-based music industry."

The Putumayo Collections features four different Christmas CD's at press time. There is today's feature "A Jazz & Blues Christmas", an even more focused "New Orleans Christmas", the eclectic "Christmas from Around the World", and this year's new release "A Family Christmas". Every CD features new versions of holiday classics as well as completely new songs to add to your annual favorites.

Here is the album's description according to the website, "B.B. King opens the album with 'Christmas Celebration,' a rollicking, up-tempo tune cheerfully punctuated with bursts of brass from an energetic horn section. Ray Charles tells the story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer to a soulful beat. Ramsey Lewis plays 'Here Comes Santa Claus,' simulating the ring of sleigh bells on the upper registers of his keyboard. And, young Canadian chanteuse Emilie-Claire Barlow offers a new take on the old holiday favorite 'Santa Baby.'"

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