Various Artists – A Motown Christmas (1973)

FrontCover1A Motown Christmas is a Christmas music compilation album, originally released as a 2-LP set by Motown Records in 1973. It contains various seasonal singles and album tracks recorded by some of the label’s artists from the 1960s and early 1970s. Much of the music had previously been collected on the 1968 UK compilation Merry Christmas from Motown.

The music has several times been recycled into different packagings. (by wikipedia)

“I really did see mommy kissing Santa Claus/And I’m gonna tell my dad!,” a too-cute 1970 Michael Jackson tells his doubting brothers in what might be Xmas-pop’s most adorable moment. The rest of this 1973 double album is pretty fantastic too. Motown culls tunes from the Miracles, Supremes, Jacksons, Temptations, Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder, with highlights ranging from the Miracles’ subtly grooving “Jingle Bells” to Wonder’s lovely “What Christmas Means to Me” to the Supremes’ awesomely pedagogic “Children’s Christmas Song,” featuring Diana Ross in Sunday school-teacher mode leading a kids choir. (by

MotownChristmasEvery holiday season, I marvel that every record collector – hell, every person – on the face of the planet doesn’t own A Motown Christmas.  A Motown Christmas is simply magnificent, but it tends to gather dust in record store bins. Perhaps this is because oldies radio stations play the same handful of Motown songs over and over and over, obscuring the fact that the label was an incredibly inventive and prolific hit factory for more than a decade. Containing nearly all the best Christmas tracks from Motown’s vaults, A Motown Christmas qualifies as a consumer’s delight, and it is far superior to the rest of Motown’s many other various artist Christmas packages, which tend to be brief and random in their selection (more below). I recommend it without reservation.

The important thing to remember about Motown’s Christmas songs is that they were more Motown than Christmas, translating the big beat and pop savvy of Hitsville USA into yuletide cheer. To name just a few of the highlights: the Temptations’ lush “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer;” the Jackson Five’s frenetic “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town;” and Stevie Wonder’s earnest “Someday At Christmas.”  In addition, two tracks are otherwise hard-to-find: Michael Jackson’s “Little Christmas Tree” (recorded specifically for the original 1973 LP), and Marvin Gaye’s gently pacifist “I Want To Come Home For Christmas” (recorded but not released in 1972, then added to the CD reissue). Even at their most maudlin – the Supremes tracks, for instance – these songs are hipper than almost anything else released for the holidays throughout the 60’s and early 70’s. (by

01. The Jackson 5: Santa Claus Is Coming to Town (Coots/Gillespie) 2.26
02. Stevie Wonder: What Christmas Means To Me (Gaye/Gordy/Story) 2.28
03. The Temptations: Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (Marks) 2.59
04. Diana Ross & the Supremes: My Favorite Things (Hammerstein/Rodgers) 2.51
05. Smokey Robinson & the Miracles: Deck The Halls/Bring A Torch, Jeannette, Isabell (Traditional) 4.07
06. The Jackson 5: I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus (Connors) 3.02
07. Stevie Wonder: Ave Maria (Schubert) 3.55
08. The Temptations: Silent Night (Gruber/Mohr) 2.25
09. Michael Jackson: Little Christmas Tree (Clinton/Wayne) 3.39
10. Smokey Robinson & the Miracles: God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (Traditional) 3.10  11. The Jackson 5: The Christmas Song (Tormé/Wells) 2.54
12. Diana Ross & the Supremes: Joy To The World (Mason/WattsI 2.11
13. The Temptations: The Little Drummer Boy (Davis/Onorati/Simeone) 3.25
14. Diana Ross & the Supremes: Silver Bells (Evans/Livingston) 3.02
15. Stevie Wonder: Someday At Christmas (Miller/Wells) 2.52
16. The Jackson 5: Frosty The Snowman (Nelson/Rollins) 2:41
17. Smokey Robinson & the Miracles: Jingle Bells (Pierpont) 2.48
18. The Temptations: My Christmas Tree (Webb) 3.20
19. Diana Ross & the Supremes: White Christmas (Berlin) 3.56
20. Stevie Wonder: One Little Christmas Tree (Miller/Wells) 2.45
21. The Jackson 5: Give Love On Christmas Day (Gordy, Jr./Mizell/Perren/Richards) 3.00
22. Smokey Robinson & the Miracles: It’s Christmas Time (Wonder) 3.29
23. Diana Ross & the Supremes: The Children’s Christmas Song (Freeman/Fuqua) 2.53
24. The Jackson 5: Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (Blane/Martin) 5.16





Harry Belafonte – To Wish You A Merry Christmas (1958)

FrontCover1To Wish You a Merry Christmas is an album by Harry Belafonte Recorded May 27, 31, June 1, 3 and 8 of 1958 in Hollywood. Conducted by Bob Corman. Millard Thomas and Laurindo Almeida, guitarists. Produced and directed by Ed Welker.

To Wish You a Merry Christmas was originally released in 1958 as RCA Victor catalog number LPM/LSP-1887. The original LP cover featured an illustration of the Three Wise Men and a listing of the songs in front.

The mournful “Star in the East” begins with Harry’s lone voice shrouded in echo. Later, he’s accompanied by subdued choral backing. The mood is sustained on “Gifts They Gave,” a performance with spare orchestral support. Yet another gentle rendering on “Son of Mary,” which is also known as “What Child is This?” and in secular form, “Greensleeves.” Millard’s guitar can be heard among orchestra instruments on the sprighgtly “12 Days.” Almeida’s mandolin is lead on “Jesus Sleeps.” A mixed chorus sings a bit of “Joys of Christmas” at the beginning of the medley. After Belafonte does “Bethlehem” they reprise “Joys” then lead on “Deck the Halls.” One more verse of “Joys” precedes Harry’s “Noël” solo. “Joys of Christmas” concludes Side One.

Belafonte“Mary’s Boy Child” was featured on many RCA compilations over the years. It was written in 1956 for Harry’s AN EVENING WITH BELAFONTE (LPM 1402) album by Jester Hairston. He also composed “Amen” and was a supporting actor on TV’s THE AMOS ‘N’ ANDY SHOW. Harry’s version was a #1 hit in Britain that same year. “Silent Night” is fairly orthodox stylistically and features twin guitars. The chorus fades in at the top of “Christmas is Coming.” They rondo as Harry sings lead on what is a variation of “A’soalin’,” as heard on the two record IN CONCERT Peter, Paul & Mary album. For those who prefer straight folk music, “Mary, Mary” is the best example here. It’s just voice and two guitars and is most serene. “Jehovah” has the same structure as “Hallelujah, I’m a Bum.” This set’s final medley is initially its most energetic track. No label or content mention is given to “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen.” When Belafonte sang the musical adaptation of Longfellow’s “Bells,” it was a brand new song. Since 1958, this one’s become a Yuletide standard. (by  Annie Van Auken)

AlternateFrontCoverAlternate frontcover

Laurindo Almeida (guitar)
Harry Belafonte (vocals)
Frantz Casseus (guitar)
Millard Thomas (guitar)
unknown orchestra conducted by Robert DeCormier

01. A Star In The East (Carter/DeCormier/Okun) 4.17
02. The Gifts They Gave (Carter/DeCormier/Okun) 4.00
03. The Son Of Mary (Greensleeves) (Traditional) 3:24
04. The Twelve Days Of Christmas (Traditional) 3.49
05. Where the Little Jesus Sleeps (Traditional)  2.07
06. Medley: 5.54
06.1. Oh Little Town Of Bethlehem (Brooks/Redner)
06.2.Deck The Halls (Traditional)
06.3.The First Noel (Traditional)
07. Mary’s Boy Child (Hairston) 4.24
08. Silent Night (Gruber/Mohr) 3.37
09. Christmas Is Coming (Traditional)
10. Mary, Mary (DeCormier) 3:24
11. Jehovah the Lord Will Provide (Carter/DeCormier/Okun) 2.59
12. Medley: 4.32
12.1. We Wish You a Merry Christmas (Traditional)
12.2, God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen (Corman/Okun)
13. I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day (Cash/Longfellow/Marks) 3.05


Unknown Artists – Christmas Music – Sax Instrumentals (2008)

FrontCover1This entry is dedicated to all the unknown studio musicians who give es so much joy … like on this album.

And … this entry is dedicated to the most important meaning of christmas … PEACE !

And here´s a story about peace on christmas:

Christmas Truce of 1914

During World War I, on and around Christmas Day 1914, the sounds of rifles firing and shells exploding faded in a number of places along the Western Front in favor of holiday celebrations in the trenches and gestures of goodwill between enemies.

On Christmas Eve, many German and British troops sang Christmas carols to each other across the lines, and at certain points the Allied soldiers even heard brass bands joining the Germans in their joyous singing.

At the first light of dawn on Christmas Day, some German soldiers emerged from their trenches and approached the Allied lines across no-man’s-land, calling out “Merry Christmas” in their enemies’ native tongues. At first, the Allied soldiers feared it was a trick, but seeing the Germans unarmed they climbed out of their trenches and shook hands with the enemy soldiers. The men exchanged presents of cigarettes and plum puddings and sang carols and songs. There was even a documented case of soldiers from opposing sides playing a good-natured game of soccer.

WordlWarIChristmas1914Some soldiers used this short-lived ceasefire for a more somber task: the retrieval of the bodies of fellow combatants who had fallen within the no-man’s land between the lines.

The so-called Christmas Truce of 1914 came only five months after the outbreak of war in Europe and was one of the last examples of the outdated notion of chivalry between enemies in warfare. It was never repeated—future attempts at holiday ceasefires were quashed by officers’ threats of disciplinary action—but it served as heartening proof, however brief, that beneath the brutal clash of weapons, the soldiers’ essential humanity endured.

During World War I, the soldiers on the Western Front did not expect to celebrate on the battlefield, but even a world war could not destroy the Christmas spirit.

Listen to this smooth jazz versions of christmas songs and remember, what christmas really means !

01. Joy to the World 5.16
02. Do You Hear What I Hear?  6.21
03. Silent Night 4.45
04. O Come All Ye Faithful 4.55
05. As A Child 4.12
06. O Holy Night 5.17
07. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen 4.15
08. A Christmas Song 4.09
09. The Little Drummer Boy 4.50
10. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (Reprise) 4.15
11. It Came Upon A Midnight Clear 4.41
12. Oh Christmas Tree 3.48
13. We Wish You A Merry Christmas 3.29



Foden´s Motor Works Band – A Christmas Offering (1974)

FrontCover1The origin of the Foden’s Band goes back to 1900 when the village of Elworth and Sandbach in Cheshire held a celebration after the Relief of Mafeking during the Boar War. Various local bands including the “Sandbach Volunteer Brass band” and the “Wheelock Temperance Band” took part but were delayed by the generosity of a local landlord who offered them free drinks. Things didn’t quite go to plan as when the bands were due to march to Elworth they decided to take advantage of the free drinks and stayed in Sandbach rather than march to Elworth for the return leg of the march. Outraged at being let down by the bands a group of prominent members of Elworth decided to form their own band for such occasions and so the Elworth Band (Later the ‘Elworth Silver Band’) was formed.

Unfortunately a difference of opinion about performances in the area to celebrate the Coronation of King Edward VII on the 26 June 1902 (Postponed until 9 Aug 1902) again meant the disbandment of the Elworth Band only to be resurrected by Edwin Foden of the local Steam Wagon Works. Now under the name ‘Foden Motor Waggon Works Band’ (Later the ‘Foden Motor Wagon Works Band’ and finally the ‘Foden Motor Works Band’) they had modest ambitions for the first few years, but in 1908 after a fundamental reorganization had taken place they achieved Championship Section status, a prestigious position that has been maintained ever since.

FodensMotorWorksBand011914 Fodens in Prussian uniformThe band has been delighted to play by Royal Command on four occasions: in 1913 for King George V and Queen Mary on a visit to Crewe (23 Apr 1913), in 1938 at Windsor Castle for King George V1 and Queen Elizabeth (24 April 1938) and again on the 29 Aug 1940 this time at the Crewe Alexandra Football Ground in Cheshire. Most recently on the 3 June 1983 the band had the honour of playing for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.

In wartime the band toured Europe for ENSA (1939-45) and in peacetime it has toured Canada, South Africa and Israel.
By the 1980’s lorry making in Sandbach was on a downward turn and the company which had for many years sponsored the band sold its assets on the 13 October 1980 to the “Paccar Company of Seattle”, USA. They decided that the band were a great asset to the company and decided to keep its sponsorship going.

Two years later it was a different story. Now renamed the “Sandbach Engineering Company” they told Allan Littlemore (Band Manager) that they had decided to withdraw funding for the famous Brass Band on the 31 December 1982.
With National coverage of the situation and an appeal by Harry Mortiner for a savour the band’s prayers were answered by Richard Carlton Tickell who had seen the coverage and decided to do something about it.

FodensMotorWorksBand02As owner of OTS (Overseas Technical Service) he took over the sponsorship of the band and now the Fodens OTS Band were back in business. His involvement was short lived as he died on the 14 December 1982 and his family inherited the band. However due to problems with the company in June 1986 they decided that funding would cease and a new sponsor had to be found.

In July 1986 the band accepted sponsorship from the Britannia Building Society becoming the Britannia Building Society Foden Band. However after a member of the public at a concert at Dunham Massey (9 -10 July 1988) standing next to Managing Director Michael Shaw of the Britannia Building Society, said that she had always enjoyed listening to the “Fodens” brass band. It was considered that the name of Foden over rode the sponsor’s name and so it was decided to drop it while they sponsored the band.

The band has maintained its position as one of the country’s leading bands, becoming BBC Band of the Year in 1990 and 1992 and European Champions in 1992, French Open Champions in 1998 along with becoming All England Masters Champions in 1990, 1991, 1994 and 1995.
In 1997 the band accepted new sponsorship from the French Instrument manufacturer Antoine Courtois that also allowed the band to use its original name of Fodens. Making their contest debut with their new name due on the 6 Sept 1997 at the “British Open Championships”, Symphony Hall, Birmingham it was unfortunately delayed the funeral of Princess Diana. This meant that the 13 Sept 1997 concert at Huddersfield Town Hall saw them with their new name of Fodens (Courtois) Band.

FodensMotorWorksBand03In 2003 the band became the Fodens Richardson Band when Richardson Developments of Oldbury, Birmingham took over the Sponsorship.
By the end of 2007 and the start of 2008 the Foden band were again looking for sponsorship as the Richardson association came to an end. Instead of one major sponsor the band has become self-financing and has joined a number of organisations who have become “Partners” in the band.

Let´s drink the hard working people, let´s drink to the salt of the earth … and listen another wonderful Britsch brass album with beautiful tunes for christmas !

FodensMotorWorksBand05Still alive and well: Live at the Royal Albert Hall, London (2015)

Foden´s Motor Works Band conducted by Rex Mortimer
Northwich & District Festival Choir conducted by Cyril Dawes

01. Christmas Prelude (Traditional) 4.02
02. All On A Christmas Morning (Amers) 5.50
03. A Christmas Offering (Golland) 11.31
04. Hark The Herald Angels Sing (Mendelssohn) 2.42
05. Carol Of The Bells (Bearcroft/Mawey) 1.27
06. Sans Day Carol (Traditional) 3.03
07. Jingle Bells (Traditional) 1.50
08. Away In A Manger (Kirkpatrick) 2.12
09. Hail To The Lord’s Annointed (Ball/Montgomery) 5.08
10. Ring Out Wild Bells (Fletcher) 4.13
11. Drummer Boy (Simeone/Onorati/David) 2.23



Rondò Veneziano – The Magic Of Christmas (2001)

FrontCover1Rondò Veneziano is an Italian chamber orchestra, specializing in Baroque music, playing original instruments, but incorporating a rock-style rhythm section of synthesizer, bass guitar and drums, led by Maestro Gian Piero Reverberi, who is also the principal composer of all of the original Rondo Veneziano pieces. The unusual addition of modern instruments, more suitable for Jazz, combined with Reverberi’s arrangements and original compositions, have resulted in lavish novel versions of classical works over the years. As a rule in their concert tours, the musicians, mostly women, add to the overall Baroque effect wearing Baroque-era attires and coiffures. (by wikipedia)

Two comments from amazon customers:

If you love their music than this is a great holiday addition and you will look forward to playing this every year

The music or the song expresses the true personality, the ego of each of us …… I like different types of music or favorite songs based on how it presents the day ….. This is the “Only my kind” that has no time.

Rondò Veneziano conducted by Gian Piero Reverberi

01. Ave Maria (Gounod/Schubert) 4.54
02. Christmas Suite (Medley) ( 5.59
02.1. Kommet ihr Hirten
02.2. O du fröhliche
02.3. The Little Drummer Boy
02.4. Fröhliche Weihnacht überall
03. Deserti Lontani (Reverberi/Pavesi) 3.52
04. Donna Lucrezia (Reverberi/Giordano) 2.59
05. Incontro (Reverberi/Pavesi) 2.25
06. Laudamus Jesus (Reverberi) 3.07
07. Litorali (Reverberi) 5.11
08. Miniature (Reverberi/Pavesi) 3.04
09. Sinfonia Di Natale (Reverberi) 4.48
10. Nonna Favola (Reverberi/Pavesi) 2.54
11, Oboe D’amore (Reverberi/Giordano) 2.37
12. Petit Papa Noël (Martinet/Eschig/Paris) 2.05
13. Stille Nacht (Silent Night) (Gruber) 3.24
14. Suite Di Natale (Medley) (Traditional)
14.1. In Dulci Jubilo
14.2. Süßer die Glocken nie klingen
14.3. Leise rieselt der Schnee
14.4. Macht hoch die Tür
15. Weihnacht Suite (Medley)
15.1. Alle Jahre wieder
15.2. Gloria In Excelsis Deo
15.3. Tochter Zion
15.4. Adeste Fideles
16. White Christmas (Berlin) 3.18


Odetta – Christmas Spirituals (1988)

FrontCover1This album was recorded in 1988 at White Crow Audio in Burlington, Vermont. It was the first time that Odetta (Gordon) had done a studio recording in over fifteen years. She put her trust in a fledgling record producer, Rachel Faro, and brought in bassist Bill Lee to rerecord the tracks she had done almost twenty years previously for Vanguard Records (the album is often assumed to be a reissue of the old Vanguard recording but it is actually a completely new recording). Initially released on Alcazar Records, it went on to win the INDI Award for Best Seasonal Release and has brought joy to thousands of listeners throughout the world.

Surrounding Odetta’s remarkable voice and songs are bassists Bill Lee and Lincoln Goines, with percussionist Carole Steele. The songs are mainly traditional with two originals by Odetta and new lyrics by Rachel Faro on “O Jerusalem”. Odetta herself wrote the profound and moving liner notes (see below) and the cover is a collage created by artist Colleen Patterson, depicting the Black Madonna by the River Jordan in Egypt, with the Three Kings and three shepherds from various cultures and races in attendance. It was a great honor to work with Odetta and we still feel the power of her truth, nobility and love around us.

Odetta’s husky voice is often stunning, both in her a cappella performances and her songs with accompaniment. She says these songs are traditional spirituals, neither purely African nor American, but songs that emerged from the sufferings of slavery. Powerful stuff. (by Dennis MacDonald)

Lincoln Goines (bass)
Odetta (vocals, guitar)
Bill Lee (bass)
Jeff Salisbury (percussion, drums)
Carol Steele (percussion)

01. Rise Up, Shepherd, And Follow (Traditional) 1.45
02.  What Month Was Jesus Born In? (Traditional) 2.25
03. Mary Had A Baby (Traditional) 1.52
04. Somebody Talking ‘Bout Jesus (Traditional) 2.05
05. Virgin Mary Had One Son (Traditional) 3.08
06. Go Tell It On The Mountain (Traditional) 2.01
07. Shout For Joy (Traditional) 2.31
08. Poor Little Jesus (Traditional) 1.56
09. O Jerusalem (Traditional/Faro) 2.51
10. Ain’t That A-Rockin’ (Traditional) 3.20
11. If Anybody Asks You Gordon) 2.00
12. Beautiful Star (Gordon) 2.54
13. Children Go Where I Send Thee (Traditional) 2.45



Beach Boys – Christmas Album (1964)

FrontCover1The Beach Boys’ Christmas Album is the seventh studio album by the Beach Boys, released in November 1964. Containing five original songs and seven standards, the album proved to be a long-running success during subsequent Christmas seasons, initially reaching number six in the US Billboard 200 chart in its year of release and eventually going gold.

While leader Brian Wilson produced and arranged the “rock” songs, he left it to Dick Reynolds (an arranger for the Four Freshmen, a group Wilson idolized) to arrange the forty-one piece orchestral backings on the traditional songs to which the Beach Boys would apply their vocals.[5] One single was released from the album, the original song “The Man with All the Toys” backed with the group’s rendition of “Blue Christmas”. “Little Saint Nick”, a single which had already been released the previous year, was included on the album.

The album was devised as a response to Phil Spector’s A Christmas Gift for You from Philles Records (1963), an album Brian had attended recording sessions for. He played piano on the song “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” but was dismissed by Spector due to his substandard piano playing. Original album cover photo by George Jerman for Capitol Photo Studio.

BeachBoys01With the exception of “Little Saint Nick”, sessions for the album spanned from June 18–30, 1964, one month after the All Summer Long album was completed. “Christmas Day” is the first Beach Boys song to feature a lead vocal from Al Jardine.

The album was released in mono and stereo; the stereo mix, prepared by engineer Chuck Britz, would be the last true stereo mix for a Beach Boys album until 1968’s Friends.

In addition to orchestral renditions of “Jingle Bells” and the original Wilson composition “Christmas Eve” which never received vocal overdubs, outtakes of the All Summer Long track “Little Honda” and Today! single “Don’t Hurt My Little Sister” were recorded in between June sessions.

In a retrospective review, Allmusic’s Jason Ankeny stated: “Brian Wilson’s pop genius is well suited to classic Yuletide fare, and the group delivers lush performances of standards ranging from ‘Frosty the Snowman’ to ‘White Christmas’ as well as more contemporary material like ‘The Man With All the Toys’ and ‘Blue Christmas.'”

BeachBoys02While interviewing Wilson for a promotional radio special in 1964, Jack Wagner remarked that Wilson’s decision to sing solo on a version of “Blue Christmas” could be “the start of a whole new career,” to which Wilson responded “I don’t know. It could and it couldn’t. I really don’t know.” Referring to the standards which he believed “proved that the Beach Boys’ vocal power was bigger and more agile than the surf and hot rod records [and] staking a claim for wider musical terrain,” author Luis Sanchez reflected: “The Beach Boys’ Christmas Album music shows a quality of aesthetic selectivity that none of the group’s records that came before it do, aspiring not just to assimilate one of pop’s stock ideas, but also enabling Brian to make one of his biggest artistic advances.”

On April 6, 1982, the album was certified gold by the RIAA, selling more than 500,000 units.(by wikipedia)

Al Jardine (vocals, guitar; handclaps)
Mike Love (vocals, handclaps)
Brian Wilson (vocals, bass, organ, handclaps)
Carl Wilson (vocals, guitar, handclaps)
Dennis Wilson (drums, background vocals, handclaps)
Robert Barene (violin)
Arnold Belnick (violin)
Harry Bluestone (violin)
George “Red” Callender (tuba)
Frankie Capp (drums )
Gene Cipriano (woodwind)
Eugene DiNovi (piano)
David Duke (french horn)
Jesse Ehrlich (cello)
Virgil Evans (trumpet)
Jimmy Getzoff (violin)
Billy Green (woodwind)
Urbie Green (trombone)
Clifford Hils (bass)
Bones Howe (percussion)
Robert Jung (woodwind)
Armand Kaproff (cello)
Raymond Kelley (cello)
Bernard Kundell (violin)
William Kurasch (violin)
Henry Laubach (trumpet)
Alfred Lustgarten (violin)
Arthur Maebe (french horn)
Lew McCreary (trombone)
Oliver Mitchell (trumpet)
Richard Nash (trombone)
Richard Perissi (french horn)
Al Porcino (trumpet)
Dorothy Ramsen (harp)
Lou Raderman (violin)
Karl Rossner (cello)
Henry Roth (violin)
Joseph Saxon (cello)
Wilbur Schwartz (woodwind)
Frederick Seykora (cello)
Paul Shure (violin)
Marshall Sosson (violin)
Darrel Terwilliger (violin)
Al Viola (guitar)

Orchestra Conducted by Benjamin Barrett

01. Little Saint Nick  (B.Wilson/Love) 1.59
02. The Man With All The Toys (B.Wilson/Love) 1.32
03. Santa’s Beard (B.Wilson) 1.59
04. Merry Christmas, Baby (B.Wilson) 2.22
05. Christmas Day (B.Wilson/Jardine) 1.35
06. Frosty The Snowman (Nelson/Rollins) 1.54
07. We Three Kings Of Orient Are (Hopkins) 4.03
08. Blue Christmas (Hayes/Johnson) 3.09
09. Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town (Coots/Gillespie) 2.20
10. White Christmas (Berlin) 2.29
11. I’ll Be Home For Christmas (Gannon/Kent/Ram) 2.44
12. Auld Lang Syne (Traditional) 1.19

LabelB1* (coming soon)

Maddy Prior – Christmas Carol (1998)

FrontCover1Carols at Christmas was recorded during Maddy Prior & The Carnival Band’s sold out December 1997 tour. The album captures the festivity of the live concert and provides a refreshing mix of carols and dance tunes using medieval and modern instruments.

This is a live recording of some songs which are on her other earlier CDs. This onbe is a little more raggedy, by still interesting. It is not a subdued as the others, Tapestry of Carols, and Carols and Capers. Those are both excellent, and I would recommend those first. If you like those, you can think about this one a little more.(by B.F.)

The folky rhythms and clever instrumentaition of these tracks overlaid with Maddie’s stunning vocals are ideally suited to someone who pines from hot Australia for the cold Christmases of my youth. Marvellous! (by  Alan Burdon)

Bill Badley (guitar, banjo, lute, mandolin)
Jub (bass, vocals)
Giles Lewin (bagpipes, fidle, oboe, recorder, tin whistle, vocals)
Raf Mizraki (drums, percussion, vocals, cello, bells)
Maddy Prior (vocals)
Andy Watts (bagpipes, bassoon, clarinet, oboe, recorder, vocals)
Rosie Kemp (vocals on 07. + 15.)

01. This Is The Truth / Sing, Sing All Earth (Traditional) 4.19
02. Dancing Day (Traditional) 2.41
03. Coventry Carol (Traditional) 3.47
04. Monsieur Charpentier’s Christmas Stomp (Charpentier/Traditional) 4.34
05. Ding Dong Merrily On High (Woodward/Arbean) 2.31
06. Let An Anthem Of Praise (Ashworth/Traditional) 3.25
07. Angels From The Realms Of Glory (Montgomery/Traditional) 3.30
08. Watts Cradle Song (Watts/Traditional) 3.43
09. Gallery Carol (Traditional) 3.55
10. Boar’s Head Carol (Traditional) 3.10
11. Away In A Manger (Traditional) 2.04
12. In Dulci Jubilo (Traditional/Pearsall) 3.27
13. Sans Day Carol (Traditional) 3.35
14. Monsieur Charpentier’s Christmas Swing (Charpentier/Traditional) 3.26
15. I Saw 3 Ships (Traditional) 4.32
16. Poor Little Jesus (Traditional) 3.09
17. Personent Hodie (Traditional) 3.09

CD1* (coming soon)

Lefty Dizz – Somebody Stole My Christmas (1979)

FrontCover1Lefty Dizz (April 29, 1937 – September 7, 1993) was an American Chicago blues guitarist and singer whose recorded work appeared on eight albums.

He is best known for fronting his own band, Shock Treatment, and his work with Junior Wells, J. B. Lenoir and Hound Dog Taylor. One commentator noted that “for wild-ass showmen in blues history … one would certainly have to go a far piece to beat Lefty Dizz”. Lefty Dizz favoured a right-handed Fender Stratocaster, which he played with his left hand, hence the first part of his stage name. Versions pertaining to the second part range from him playing the trumpet in the style of Dizzy Gillespie, to the nickname being given by Hound Dog Taylor & the HouseRockers’ drummer Ted Harvey, referring to “playing jazz in the alley”.

He was reputedly the brother of fellow blues musician Johnny Dollar.

He was born Walter Williams in Osceola, Arkansas, United States. He learned the rudiments of guitar playing while serving for four years in the United States Air Force. Unlike other left-handed players who re-strung their instruments to mirror the proper string order, Dizz played a right-handed guitar upside down, thereby reversing the order of the strings. After his discharge in 1956, he moved first to Detroit and then Chicago where he LeftyDizz02would settle permanently; there, he played under Lacy Gibson and Earl Hooker’s guidance. He was proficient enough to join Sonny Thompson’s band in 1958. He worked with Junior Cannady and John Lee Hooker, but a major career move in 1964 saw Lefty Dizz become a member of Junior Wells’ backing ensemble. They toured around the world together until 1971, when Lefty Dizz joined Hound Dog Taylor and the HouseRockers. Lefty Dizz remained a member of that band until Taylor’s death in 1975, when he formed Shock Treatment. It was with this band that he further developed his own flamboyant approach, which incorporated raunchy jokes alongside his own skilful but showmanship style of guitar playing. His pleasant and joke-filled character was offset with sufficient intelligence to garner an economics degree at Southern Illinois University.

Lefty Dizz performed at Chicago clubs such as the Kingston Mines, B.L.U.E.S. and the Checkerboard Lounge, as well as international touring. His playing was witnessed by members of the Rolling Stones and Foghat. He played on the recording of Live at the Checkerboard Lounge, Chicago 1981 with Muddy Waters and Rolling Stones Jagger, Richards and Wood. However, his studio recordings did not capture the essence of live performances.

Lefty Dizz died from the effects of esophageal cancer on September 7, 1993, at the age of 56 (by wikipedia)

And this is debut album from 1979:

Dizz fares much better on this sophomore outing. Featuring a nice take on the title cut and fairly solid playing from all parties concerned, this certainly falls short of the fervor he could produce live but is still the best of the bunch. (by Cub Koda)

Recorded December 22, 1979 in Paris, France

Lefty “Walter Williams” Dizz (guitar, vocals)
Robert ‘Big Mojo’ Elem (bass)
Willie James Lyons (guitar)
Odie Payne Jr. (drums)
John ‘Big Moose’ Walker (piano)

01. Bad Avenue (Williams) 5-29
02. It Hurts Me Too (Red) 3.38
03. Blues For Big Town (Brown) 3.27
04. Funny Acting Woman (Williams) 4.16
05. If I Can Get My Hands On You (Williams) 3.51
06. Somebody Stole My Christmas (Williams) 4.12
07. All Your Love (Maghett) 5.32
08. Nights By Myself (King) 2.23
09. Anna Lee (McCollum) 5.00
10. See Me In The Evening (Taylor) 3.30

Label* (coming soon)

LeftyDizz03Lefty Dizz in the studio