- Carol and the Kings: Carol of the Bells/We Three Kings
- Sleigh Ride
- Two Santas: Here Comes Santa Claus/Santa Claus Is Coming to Town
- Christmas Don't Be Late
- O Carolan's/Welcome Christmas: O'Carolan's Farewell/Welcome Christmas
- Skating/Feliz Navidad
- Silver Bells
- Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
- Christmas Time Is Here
- The Little Drummer Boy
- Christmas Don't Be Late
Banjoist Alison Brown isn't an innovator along the lines of, say, B�la Fleck -- she doesn't play a tricked-out electric instrument or go off on electro-jazz fusion excursions. What she plays is mostly fairly straight-ahead modern jazz with elements of traditional American and British Isles music threaded through it. What makes her playing unique is its blend of chromatic sophistication and melodic inventiveness. When jazz players take on a Christmas music project, they too frequently use the familiar tunes as launching pads for longwinded, self-indulgent noodling; Brown, on the other hand, uses them as opportunities to create glisteningly lovely new arrangements -- some straight and faithful to the original compositions, others more adventurous. Her solos (and those of her band, along with guest fiddler/mandolinist Joe Craven) are creative and interesting, but never devolve into mere showmanship: the rather strange pairing of the Turlough O'Carolan composition "O'Carolan's Farewell" with the Dr. Seuss classic "Welcome Christmas" seems bizarre in concept but sounds great in practice; the same goes for Brown's mash-up of "Carol of the Bells" and "We Three Kings." This disc also features an unusual and very lovely 4/4 arrangement of "Silver Bells," which is normally a waltz, and a solidly swinging take on "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!" The band finally stretches out with some extended soloing on a samba arrangement of "The Little Drummer Boy," which is followed at the end of the program by a hidden children's vocal arrangement of "Christmas Don't Be Late" (popularized by Alvin & the Chipmunks). No one who likes Christmas music will be able to resist the charms of this album.
Performance CreditsAlison Brown Primary Artist,Banjo
Larry Atamanuik Drums
John Burr Piano
Joe Craven Fiddle,Mandolin,Percussion
Garry West Bass
Chloe Kibble Track Performer
Katie Bryant Track Performer
David Heyer Drums
Technical CreditsAlison Brown Arranger,Adaptation
Leroy Anderson Composer
Vince Guaraldi Composer
John Burr Arranger
Joe Craven Arranger
Mitchell Parish Composer
Garry West Arranger
Lee Mendelson Composer
Turlough O'Carolan Composer
Erick Jaskowiak Engineer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Evergreen based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Progressive bluegrass banjoist Alison Brown made her name not only as a virtuosic instrumentalist, but as an accomplished, jazz-influenced composer, a combination that earned plenty of comparisons to Béla Fleck and David Grisman.
On her holiday CD, Evergreen, Brown collaborates with her band along with fiddler/mandolinist Joe Craven and the University School of Nashville Middle School Chorale to create a unique holiday offering for fans of acoustic music. Evergreen is a collection of the fun and imaginative re-workings of holiday classics that are often part of Brown¿s Winter¿s Eve holiday concerts.
If you¿ve been to one of those shows, your well aware of the distinctive Alison Brown Quartet sound. If you¿re new to her music, you¿ll find it to be pure, unassuming, and a perfect way to enhance your holiday season.