Larry Carlton – Christmas At My House (1989)

frontcover1Okay, let´s start the christmas time:

You can ask yourself three questions: how is it that a musical gem of Christmas joy such as Larry Carlton’s magnum opus for Advent through Three Kings Sunday has been kept so underground and so un-heralded for so long? How long has it been since you have experienced a touch of peace and healing, and wonder in the presence of Christmas music? How can pop princesses and boy wonders have a featured Christmas CD or iTunes year after year, with crafted production value and all the soul of Wal-Mart? “Seasonal music” on commercial radio, streaming channels, cable, etc. provide a vapid stream of wannabe hits, ancient hits, and stuff that we’re supposed to like based on the sheer gravity of a pre-Christmas void of meaning, afraid of controversy and alienation of potential shoppers; as such, it has become background music in the house, the car, the bus, the malls. The programmers who make slight adjustments to the playlist/algorithm have attempted to create a vague connection between the act of listening and our individual experience of a divine moment. They have missed Larry Carlton. In my house, it is different. I search for music to connect my faith, family, past, and future, and my celebration of Christmas. I found this in Larry & his friends’ interpretations and explorations of classics, plus one original, featuring Larry’s articulate and expressive guitar work and Michele Pillar (his wife) on vocals in key moments on a mostly instrumental album. In this collaboration there is deep love of the birth of Jesus, and the Christmas season. This music is magic. I listen straight through, but always pause at “The Holly and the Ivy” to get lost in it entirely. Few of us can participate in the creative process that is jazz, especially jazz with friends and family, but we have this magic preserved in this CD. I’ve owned one since 1995, but loaned it to someone last year (can’t remember who), and just decided to buy another on Amazon rather than put out a broadcast e-mail which will both embarrass a friend and myself. So, whoever has my old one, Merry Christmas.. enjoy, and you’re welcome! Larry, and Christmas, is back in my house.(by Mark Meyering)


Larry Carlton (guitar, bass on 06.)
John Ferraro (drums)
Clare Fischer (keyboards)
Abraham Laboriel (bass)
Terry Trotter (keyboards)
Robbie Buchanan (keyboards on 06.)
Michael Fisher (percussion on 02. – 04., 11.)
Michele Pillar (vocals on 03., 06. + 11.)
Jeff Porcaro (drums on 03, 10. + 11.)
Kirk Whalum (saxophone on 11.)
background vocals:
Christopher Cross – David Pack – Karen Blake – Michele Pillar


01. The Christmas Song (Torme) 4.30
02. Winter Wonderland (Bernard) 5.10
03. Silent Night / It Came Upon A Midnight Clear (Gruber/Willis) 4.20
04. White Christmas (Berlin) 3.20
05. The Holly And The Ivy (Traditional) 3.10
06. Ringing The Bells Of Christmas (Foster/Labounty/Carlton/Pillar) 4.30
07. What Child Is This (Traditional) 6.20
08. The Little Drummer Boy (Onorati) 5.40
09. Joy To The World (Haweis) 1.06
10. My Favorite Things / We Three Kings Of Orient Are (Hopkins/Rodgers/Hammerstein) 9.57
11. The Christmas Song (Torme/Wells) 4.10