Wednesday, December 2, 2015


Okay, here we go with the Christmas albums.  Unlike the music industry, which starts sending them out in October, I won't listen until December, because it's Just. Not. Right.

We can start off the festive month with an semi-old favourite.  Dwight's disc came out in 1997, in that strange time between peaks in vinyl interest, and therefore has never had the benefit of being on 33-1/3.  Now here it is on holiday-ready green vinyl, sounding just great.

This is a cut above your usual Christmas offering, thanks to Dwight's ability to move between styles and arrangements, his willingness to be playful, and a couple of fine cuts he penned for the set.  It starts with the title track, a sad, jazzy number, kind of like a Chet Baker ballad.  Then it revs up, switching styles from song to song.

Silver Bells gets a find Tex-Mex arrangement, with great horns.  I'll Be Home For Christmas is turned into a '60's soul number, with organ and backing singers.  In Santa Claus Is Back In Town, Dwight teases us with a "Ho ho ho, honey", before the fiddle kicks in.

There's a swingin' take on The Christmas Song, with big band accompaniment, followed by an old-timey version of Away In A Manger. Then there's a spacey-lounge reworking of Here Comes Santa Claus, before the party closes with his own Santa Can't Stay that's part-Dwight, part-Phil Spector's Christmas Album.

Well whaddya know?  I'm actually getting in the spirit of things.

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