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A raucous, good-hearted Christmas

Reviewed December 2008

Putumayo Presents A Jazz and Blues Christmas
Putumayo Presents A Jazz and Blues Christmas
By various artists

Putumayo: 2008

To hear sound clips or learn more about this release, Turbula recommends viewing its Amazon.com entry.

Any collection that features both B.B. King and Ray Charles can't go too far wrong, and if Putumayo's holiday release for 2008 has quite a few tracks by bands and artists you've never heard of, well, there's still B.B. singing "Christmas Celebration" and Charles doing "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." Ramsey Lewis and late Charles Brown are also represented here. And even if you've not heard of Randy Greer, Riff Ruffin or Topsy Chapman, their contributions are rock-solid and swinging.

The groove here definitely leans toward the blues side of the jazz-blues spectrum, even delving into a bit of R&B. It's a bit raucous at times, but in a good-hearted New Orleans kind of way.

Review by Jim Trageser. Jim is a writer and editor living in Escondido, Calif., and was a contributor to the "Grove Press Guide to Blues on CD" (1993) and "The Routledge Encyclopedia of the Blues" (2005).

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