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Album Review

His fourth release to credit "the Little Big Band," Christmas is a holiday-themed collection of songs from blues/rock singer/songwriter Colin James. Recorded in Nashville, the 2007 album features swing interpretations of familiar seasonal classics "Please Come Home for Christmas," "Let It Snow," and "Blue Christmas," alongside some lesser-known tracks (Louis Prima's "Shake Hands with Santa Claus," Louis Armstrong's "Cool Yule"), and a rendition of traditional African-American spiritual song, "Children, Go Where I Send Thee." ~ Jon O'Brien, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Super Great

After working retail (in a mall no less) for 9 and a half years, I had become very jaded toward Christmas music. Only a few select albums make their way into my iTunes library. Welcome to my iTunes library, Colin. What a great album. The arrangements are completely unique, yet stay true to the style precedent set with the first LBB album. And the playing! I could listen to these guys play all day--what chops! And of course I super enjoy all of Colin's guitar playing. Perhaps the best musical entity to come out of Saskatchewan, Colin James is certainly one of Canada's true statesmen of musical integrity. Anyways, you should buy this.

Swingin' holiday classics

Colin lives here in Vancouver, and his sometime bassist Doug Elliott also plays with my band, but that's not why I recommend it. "Christmas" is the latest in a long series of Little Big Band projects stretching back to 1992, and Colin has a deft way with the jump-blues guitar-horns-organ format, which he revived long before Brian Setzer. What that means is this album, though it contains both traditional chestnuts ("I'll Be Home for Christmas," "Let It Snow," "Baybe It's Cold Outside") and some swingin' alternatives ("Cool Yule," "Boogie Woogie Santa Claus," the gospel-style "Go Where I Send Thee"), is remarkably refreshing in the sea of sappy-sweet versions you hear this time of year. Like old-time Christmas albums by groups such as Booker T and the MGs, on "Christmas" Colin and his band swing and shimmy and leave a smile on your face. If that sounds up your alley, pick it up.

Great music, slightly skimpy play time

I love Colin James, particularly his Little Big Band stuff, so this was an easy purchase decision. On this album, he hits a great balance between familiar holiday tunes and out-of-the-way stuff. It's the perfect way to clear your ears out after listening to your more traditional Christmas music. One quibble: at 37 minutes long, this album leaves me feeling slightly shortchanged. Colin's other Little Big Band CDs are about ten minutes longer, and worth every second. If he had found and recorded a couple of more strong tunes, I wouldn't hesitate to give the album five stars. Still, there's more great music on this album than many other Christmas CDs in my library.

Biography

Born: August 17, 1964 in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s

This Canadian guitarist, singer and songwriter is Canada's answer to the U.S.'s Chris Duarte or Kenny Wayne Shepherd. Colin Munn grew up in Saskatchewan, listening to folk and blues. After learning the pennywhistle and mandolin, he quit...
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