Holiday Music

Book Reviews and Reading Diary
CD Buying Guide and Music Links
Best-of lists
CD Reviews
CDs, sorted by Style
CDs, sorted by year issued
CDs, sorted by publication review ran in
CDs by San Diego bands
All CDs, sorted by band name
All CDs, sorted by album title
Favorite quotations
Contact Me

Crescent City Christmas

Putumayo Presents New Orleans Christmas
Putumayo Presents New Orleans Christmas
By various artists

Putumayo World Music: 2006

This review first appeared in Turbula in December 2006.

Rampart Street and Jackson Square don't exactly evoke Currier & Ives images of a traditional Christmas. But if far removed from the New England ideal of the winter holidays, New Orleans has carved out its own tradition – including a well-worn chestnut in "Christmas Time in New Orleans."

No coincidence that that song is featured a new release of holiday music from the Crescent City.

Putumayo World Music's compilation includes 11 songs from different artists. Ranging from the well-known (Ellis Marsalis, New Birth Brass Band) to the practically unheard-of (Papa Don Vappie's New Orleans Jazz Band, Big Bal Carson with Lars Edegran & his Santa Claus Revelers), this collection has as broad a musical palate as the city it is drawn from.

Ranging from old-timey jazz to R&B to straight-ahead jazz to the blues, this set takes in just about every style you might hear in the French Quarter short of Cajun and zydeco.

While every track is a gorgeous slice of the holidays with a New Orleans twist, it would have been nice to have had more of the big names that have defined New Orleans – a Louis Armstrong or Dr. John, Harry Connick Jr. or Fats Domino.