Wednesday, December 13

Spicing up your Christmas CD collection

On The Prowl for new Christmas Albums?

The classic albums to own are Charlie Brown Christmas, Nat King Cole Christmas, The Carpenters, and (maybe it's just me) Mannheim Steamroller. (In the interest of full disclosure, I grew up in rural Nebraska and saw "the 'mroller" live in concert at least twice.)

In the jazz world, Wynton Marsalis' album is great, while Cyrus Chestnut wins the award for coolest Christian solo piano album. I love it. This Warner brothers album has a lot of modern giants (and is worth the hard effort to track down a copy), but for pure class, you've got to hear the Ellington Nutcracker.

In the gospel world, you might know Israel Houghton's album, but you should really check out Broadway Inspirational Voices for that awesome choir sound. Wowsers. Worship pastors should get the sheet music and do some of the songs, and pianists should go to school on the album.

If these are a little too spicy, Bob Kauflin did an album exploring more of the middle of the road. Read it here. You should really hear his album Savior. It's really great.


BigCityLawyer said...

Good list, although I'd add:

1.) Songs for Christmas (Sufjan Stevens);
2.) O Holy Night (Duvall);
3.) Behold the Lamb of God (Andrew Peterson); and
4.) Our Heart's Joy (Chanticleer)

Anonymous said...

Toss in Over The Rhine's "Darkest Night of the Year" (you have to see them at Shuba's sometime) and Sarah McLachlan's "Winterson" is very, very good.

Matthew Westerholm said...

BCL - glad you stopped by again. we missed you. I'd agree with each of these, but consider the peterson too m.o. the r. to deem "spicy."

Jeremy - personally, i've heard disappointing things about the McLauchlan CD. How often are you @ Schuba's?