Saturday, December 12, 2015
MUSIC REVIEW OF THE DAY: SHARON JONES & the DAP-KINGS - IT'S A HOLIDAY SOUL PARTY
It's already been a good year for new Christmas albums, with The dB's and Friends, and The Weber Brothers putting out excellent sets. But the biggest excitement comes from the wonderful Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, who put all their soul talent into this celebration. There's no blue at all it, as old favourites and new gems get the big horns, big vocals, and big rhythm section, uptempo from start to end.
The large band is augmented by guest vocalist Saun & Starr, the latest stars of the Daptone stable, although long-time partners of Jones, and also known the Dapettes, so that great tradition of lead with strong back-up (think Aretha and her singers) is here. Those harmonies are put to great use on the hilarious Big Bulbs, finally available widely after being released via Google a couple of years back. And the pa-rum-pa-pa-pums they contribute are the best ever.
So is the drum breakbeats on what they call Funky Little Drummer Boy, which certainly earns its name. The glorious funkified versions of the classics are one of the best elements of the album, with Silver Bells, White Christmas and even Silent Night magically now dance tunes. Always one to share the spotlight, the disc ends on jazzy instrumental treatment of God Rest Ye Merry Gents, with the horns taking us home. Don't think of this as a stocking-stuffer, this should be top of your wish list.