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Christmas around the globe

World Christmas
World Christmas
By various artists

Metro Blue / Blue Note Records: 1996

This review first appeared in the December 13, 1996 issue of the North County Times.

This album of seasonal music from around the world is not only one of the hippest collections of holiday tuneage, it's also a fund-raiser for the Special Olympics.

Among the featured artists are Angélique Kidjo from Benin, Spain's Gipsy Kings, Bo Dollis and the Wild Magnolias from New Orleans, Yomo Toro and Ruben Blades from Puerto Rico, and American jazz stars Joshua Redman and Marcus Miller.

The nontraditional arrangements and performances of songs like a Caribbean dance version of "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town," a jazzed-up "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" or a Puerto Rican reading of "Jingle Bells" all work quite nicely, thank you – especially for those of us here in sunny Southern California, where Christmas often means blue skies and temperatures in the 80s.

Hey, if you can't go sledding on Christmas morn, might as well dance a nice samba.