The Season Begins
Evidence One: Santa Claus, Santa Claus
Ahhhh, Louis Jordan. Each and every Christmas season in this home has been officially rung in – since 1994 mind you – by this recording! Comment as you will. Though Louis, “The King of the Jukebox” was well known for his jump blues music, here he mourns and moans to the head elf that he is in misery and all he needs is his baby. Don’t we all?
I want you to tell your reindeer,
When you’re on your way -
Please, please, please be extra careful,
My baby’s on your sleigh!
Evidence Two: Away In A Manger
Sure, how many version of this have you heard? Let me tell you, this is the one that stops you in your tracks. Blind Boys of Alabama.
Anymore need be said? How about we throw in George Clinton just for giggles and candy canes? Need more? Then toss in pedal steel guitarist Robert Randolph. Want more? Tune in carefully to the arrangement.
If you still require more, you better ask Santa for a gift certificate to a psych consult to begin taking back your raging and insipid impulses.
Evidence Three: Go Tell It On The Mountain
Mavis Staples, Pops Staples and the rest of the holy Staple stable show up in a show of strength for this saintly gift to The Child. A gently sloping holy roller that gives up its clumsy otherworldly confines to a devoutly spiritual and enlightening cause. A pure and defining sound that surely has the seasonal angels blushing in envy.
Evidence Four: Make Me A Present Of You
As if we can fit it in, let’s bring in even more class. The lovely and over-flowingly talented Dinah Washington belting it our in her inimitable style can crumble mere mortals with her very first phrasings. Luckily for us, this holiday bauble was captured so we can remain awed each and every time we hear it.
So, I’ll take my spire palace
And the sky for my room with a view
I know well both be very happy
If you got yourself up tied with a pretty ribbon
And make me, Lord make me a present of you
Evidence Five: Let’s Make Christmas Mean Something This Year, Pts I & II
Squealing from the Soul, a set of backup singers that yields no talent to nobody, and an arrangement to kill for. It simply does not lend itself easily to comparisons. This is the church of JB and few are eager to try to preach from that pulpit. A refreshing original that no matter how many times you hear it, does not get worn. In fact, it’s almost a church tune, one that you can hear over and over and still come away smiling because, as an added present, James gives you screams, wails and pulses of joy that’ll have you screaming “Amen’ while awaiting the birth! A six-minute journey through the jugular of joyfulness that means Christmas!
Louis Jordan: Santa Claus, Santa Clause
From: Blue Yule – Christmas Blues and R&B Classics
Blind Boys Of Alabama: Away In A Manger
From: Go Tell It On The Mountain
The Staple Singers: Go Tell It On The Mountain
From: 40 Stars
Dinah Washington: Make Me A Present Of You
James Brown: Let’s Make Christmas Mean Something This Year, Pts I & II
From: James Brown’s Funky Christmas
PS - I’ve had to deal with admin issues. Actually, they’re the same old Rapidshare issues everyone else who is using them has had to deal with. So, I’ve decided to try another method. Seems to work pretty well, so let’s stick it out for a while.