Tuesday, November 16, 2010

VA - In The Christmas Groove

One of the coolest Christmas compilations you could ever hope to own – but you probably guessed that already, from the cover image that pays tribute to a classic set from James Brown! The JB image is certainly well placed – as most of the tracks here are deeply funky Holiday tunes – the kind of gritty seasonal ditties that were only ever issued as funky 45s back in the day – and most really only on a local level, too! Strut's really outdone themselves with this excellent collection – as it features a fair bit of Christmas rarities we've never heard before, but which are totally wonderful – all-new tunes, not common Christmas cover versions – played and performed with a hell of a soulful feel throughout. Knock that ol' Bing Crosby record off the turntable, and give this one plenty of spins this December – and dammit, the music's so great, you may well find yourself playing the collection well into the New Year too!


1 Jimmy Reed - Christmas Present Blues
2 Electric Jungle - Funky Funky Christmas
3 Funk Machine (3) - Soul Santa
4 Milly & Silly - Getting' Down For Xmas
5 Harlem Children's Chorus, The - Black Christmas
6 Wild Honey - Angel's Christmas
7 Johnny Acey with Esquires Ltd - Christmas Keeps On Coming
8 Captain Elmo McKenzie & The Roosters - Home On Christmas Day
9 Soul Saints Orchestra* - Santa's Got A Bag Of Soul
10 J.D. McDonald - Boogaloo Santa Claus
11 Zebra - Christmas Morning
12 Harvey Averne Band - Let's Get It Together This Christmas
13 Jimmy Jules - The New Year
14 Black On White Affair, The - Auld Lang Syne

- Clique Aqui:

The golden era of ‘60s and ‘70s soul music boasts a great tradition for Christmas songs and, following in the footsteps of classic Christmas albums from the Motown stable and James Brown, Strut enter the festive spirit this November with the first ever Yuletide compilation on the label, IN THE CHRISTMAS GROOVE, bringing together 12 rare soul, funk and blues cuts rediscovered from Christmases past. Featuring tracks often only ever released as obscure 45 B-sides, the compilation tracks one-off moments when the good groove met the jingle bells to devastating effect. Artists include bluesman Jimmy Reed, jamming hard on ‘Christmas Present Blues’ and Calypsonian Capt. Elmo McKenzie with a lilting Yuletide Caribbean ode on Barbados label Trex. UK-based session collective Zebra weigh in with a festive slice of gritty Afro-rock and kids choir Harlem Children’s Chorus’ paint a poignant picture of ‘Black Christmas’ in the ghetto. We also include some useful covers of Christmas favourites. Late, lamented New Orleans Godfather Eddie Bo produces Isaac Clarke on a solid version of ‘Santa Claus Is Coming To Town’ for his Seven B label and The Black On White Affair out of Seattle rock out on an amazing re-work of ‘Auld Lang Syne’. All in all, an essential diggers’ grab bag for the festive season and a refreshing alternative to the traditional Christmas fare. Early reaction from Lapland is encouraging: “Sinatra and Jim Reeves are certainly legends but the same songs each Christmas are driving me and Rudolph a bit potty, quite frankly,” explains Santa Claus. “This is the sh*t I want in my sleigh!”

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