Christmas + Santa Fe

Christmas + Santa Fe

by Ottmar Liebert
     
 

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There's nary a snowflake within a thousand miles of this album, as the king of nouveau flamenco spices up Christmas favorites with Southwest flavorings and a saucy sway. The album begins with "Santa Dancing/Deck the Halls," complete with gentle cha-cha beats, timbales, and bracing guitar keeping time. "Celebration/God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" picks up the pace…  See more details below

Overview

There's nary a snowflake within a thousand miles of this album, as the king of nouveau flamenco spices up Christmas favorites with Southwest flavorings and a saucy sway. The album begins with "Santa Dancing/Deck the Halls," complete with gentle cha-cha beats, timbales, and bracing guitar keeping time. "Celebration/God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" picks up the pace and adds a bit of syncopation. Liebert's guitar improvisations become increasingly interesting as the song progresses, though the original melody is cast to the sidelines. Really, the most remarkable thing about this set is the dearth of the usual Christmas sentiments in the arrangements; Liebert plays the melodies straight on the first go-around, but his subsequent variations, layered with Latin percussion and flamenco stylings, stretch these eternal melodies into territory where there's scarely an evergreen to be seen. That said, the album is certainly pleasant and might just fit the bill for those seeking a change from the customary musical snowfalls, carolers, choirs, blaring trumpets, jingle bells, and ho-ho-ho's.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
On his second holiday collection, Ottmar Liebert works variations on a series of familiar Christmas tunes, typically playing his acoustic guitar over Mark Clark's busy percussion and Jon Gagan's quiet bass in tones that suggest the Southwest. Horns turn up here and there, notably on "Hark the Herald Angels Sing," but for the most part this is a low-key effort. Liebert has some fun with "Silent Night," playfully changing tempos, and he discovers concordances between "O Christmas Tree" and the theme from The Third Man, so there are witty musical touches in the performances. A holiday mood is maintained throughout, albeit a quietly festive one, so this is good music to put on as background to your seasonal celebrations.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/17/2000
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0074646216125
catalogNumber:
62161

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