Boogie Woogie Christmas

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Barnes & Noble - Lydia Vanderloo
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 ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Lydia Vanderloo
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.
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."
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/22/2002
  • Label: Surfdog Records Ada
  • UPC: 640424401122
  • Catalog Number: 44011

Album Credits

Performance Credits
The Brian Setzer Orchestra Primary Artist
Brian Setzer Guitar, Vocals, Indexed Contributor
Bernie Dresel Drums
Dennis Farias Trumpet
John Hatton Bass
Ray Herrmann Saxophone
George McMullen Trombone
Tim Misica Saxophone
Kai Palmer Trumpet
Don Roberts Baritone Saxophone
Alex Henderson Trombone
Robbie Hioki Bass Trombone
Matthew Zebley Saxophone
Kevin Norton Trumpet
Craig Woods Trombone
Jim Youngstrom Saxophone
The Caroling Company Background Vocals
Technical Credits
David Darling Audio Production
Brian Setzer Arranger
Diane Burt Director
Frank Comstock Arranger
Jeff Peters Engineer
Sir Richard Wentworth Illustrations
Mark Anthony Jones Arranger, Orchestration
Dave Darling Producer
Traditional Composer
Adam Ayan Mastering
James Pierpont Composer
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