Boogie Woogie Christmas [2004]

Boogie Woogie Christmas [2004]

4.3 3
by Brian Setzer
     
 

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With a ringing electric guitar and a brassy big band, Brian Setzer delivers a festive Yuletide on Boogie Woogie Christmas. Like the seasoned hot-rodder he is, the onetime Stray Cat refits stock holiday tunes with some custom parts and revs up the fun. The Grammy-winning guitarist puts his own rockabilly stamp on rockin' renditions of See more details below

Overview

With a ringing electric guitar and a brassy big band, Brian Setzer delivers a festive Yuletide on Boogie Woogie Christmas. Like the seasoned hot-rodder he is, the onetime Stray Cat refits stock holiday tunes with some custom parts and revs up the fun. The Grammy-winning guitarist puts his own rockabilly stamp on rockin' renditions of "Winter Wonderland," "Sleigh Ride," and "Jingle Bells" (the latter originally recorded for the 1996 Schwarzenegger film Jingle All the Way). Setzer pauses for breath on "So They Say It's Christmas," "O Holy Night," and a version of "Blue Christmas" that, while not quite the equal of Elvis's, nonetheless battles the holiday blues with a blazing guitar solo. Setzer scores a nostalgic highlight in a duet with '60s icon Ann-Margret on the romantic "Baby It's Cold Outside," but the artistic triumph of Boogie Woogie Christmas has to be his tackling Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker Suite," which he ignites with his fiery fretwork and his swingin' band's bright effusions. Closer to home is the Chicago-style blues "Santa Claus Is Back in Town," and Setzer offers something of a prayer in the closing, a cappella "The Amens," but for the most part, Boogie Woogie Christmas drives like a lean, mean, holiday-partyin' machine.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Hal Horowitz
Brian Setzer takes his horn-fueled big band on a sleigh ride into Christmas/holiday music with generally impressive results. Meshing his rockabilly guitar solos with brassy charts and a lounge/Vegas sensibility that is part tribute and part retro characterization, Setzer dusts off and polishes up obscure nuggets like Kay Starr's "(Everybody's Waitin' For) The Man With the Bag" and Lionel Hampton's swinging "Boogie Woogie Santa Claus." He rocks up played-out chestnuts "Winter Wonderland" and "Jingle Bells," slightly altering the latter's lyrics to, "Oh what fun it is to ride in a '57 Chevrolet." Elvis' "Blue Christmas" succeeds despite, or maybe because of, its obvious inclusion, narrowly missing a parody of the original due to Setzer's reverb-heavy guitar solo. A rough, blues-heavy "Santa Claus Is Back in Town" successfully kicks the tune into classic urban R&B territory, with the bandleader's guitar getting down and dirty and the horns blasting away like Doc Severinsen's orchestra. Ann Margaret sounds a little tentative playing the sultry sex kitten next to Setzer's slick Bobby Darin on a nevertheless frisky duet romp through "Baby It's Cold Outside." But the album's obvious highlight is an intricately rearranged, instrumental big band blowout of "The Nutcracker Suite," originally written for Les Brown's orchestra in the '50s. It displays the group's stop-on-a-dime chops and swings like mad. A 30-piece choir backs Setzer doing his best Presley mannerisms on a smarmy "O Holy Night" and closes the album on a serious note with a prayerful "The Amens." [The 2004 edition of the album contains two newly recorded bonus tracks; "Run Rudolph Run" and "Cactus Christmas."]

Product Details

Release Date:
10/12/2004
Label:
Surfdog Records Wea
UPC:
0640424404024
catalogNumber:
44040

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Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Brian Setzer   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals
Bernie Dresel   Drums
Dennis Farias   Trumpet
John Hatton   Bass
Ray Herrmann   Saxophone
George McMullen   Trombone
Tim Misica   Saxophone
Don Roberts   Baritone Saxophone
Kevin Norton   Trumpet
Alex Henderson   Trombone
Robbie Hioki   Bass Trombone
Matthew Zebley   Saxophone
Kevin Norton   Trumpet
Craig Woods   Trombone
Jim Youngstrom   Saxophone
Willie Murillo   Trumpet
Caroling Company   Background Vocals
Kyle Palmer   Trumpet

Technical Credits

Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky   Composer
Leroy Anderson   Composer
David Darling   Producer,Audio Production
Jerry Leiber   Composer
J. Marks   Composer
Brian Setzer   Arranger,Composer
Frank Loesser   Composer
Felix Bernard   Composer
D.J. Brooks   Composer
Diane Burt   Director
Frank Comstock   Arranger
Mitchell Parish   Composer
Jeff Peters   Engineer
Leon René   Composer
Mike Stoller   Composer
Hal Stanley   Composer
Richard Wentworth   Illustrations
Mark Anthony Jones   Arranger,Orchestration
Jay Johnson   Composer
Traditional   Composer
Mike Himelstein   Composer
Adam Ayan   Mastering
Bill Hayes   Composer

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