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Béla Fleck Jingle all the Way

The idea of banjo led, jazz influenced Christmas project that has been interwoven with bluegrass threads intrigued me. That Béla Fleck conceived it made it that much more inviting. Throw in the inimitable Tuvan throat singers, Alash Ensamble, and it's like a mystery novel in song. I promise you there is nothing else out there in Christmas music as entertaining as Jingle All The Way. The key that differentiates this project from other Christmas projects is the uncommon arrangements conceived by this combo of masters. Jingle All The Way is all about distinctive traditions woven into exceptional arrangements.

This CD is pure fun. There are two renditions of Jingle Bells. The first leads the project with an upbeat amusing dash through the snow with the horses whinnying along the way. The reprise is more subdued with Ayan-ool Sam expert throat singing accompanied by Béla's banjo.

The two most notable cuts on the CD because of the inventiveness applied to the arrangement are The 12 Days of Christmas and Medley. The 12 Days of Christmas melds 12 keys and 12 signatures to the 12 days. Medley marries seven classic Christmas tunes together in a seamless stitch of inseparable melodies.

What Child is This/Dyngyldai is beautifully mixed leaning toward the traditions of the Tuvan culture yet overlaid with a jazz sax and banjo. You will need to hold on tight as Béla's lightening quick banjo takes you on a jazzy Sleigh Ride. Later, Béla changes to a softer banjo accompanied by a subtle piano played simultaneously by Béla for a rendition of Joni Mitchell's Christmas classic The River. The melody of Jingle Bells is weaved into the beginning and end of Béla's version of this classic to tie all the pieces of the project together.

Jingle All the Way is filled with the familiar traditional Christmas but takes the listener on an unfamiliar musical journey. Don't miss this one.



Project Title:Jingle All the Way
Artist:Béla Fleck and the Flecktones with special guests Alash Ensemble
Released:2008
Produced by:Béla Fleck
Record Label:Rounder Records


Song List/Credits

Jingle Bells(Public Domain: Arranged Béla Fleck, Jeff Coffin, Roy Wooten Victor Lemonte Wooten, Alash Ensemble)
Silent Night(Public Domain – Arranged Béla Fleck, Jeff Coffin, Roy Wooten Victor Lemonte Wooten)
Sleigh Ride(Mitchell Parrish-Leroy Anderson/EMI Mills Music Inc. obo Woodbury Music Co., ASCAP, Arranged Béla Fleck, Jeff Coffin, Roy Wooten Victor Lemonte Wooten)
The Christmas Song(Mel Torme-Robert Wells/Sony ATV Tunes LLC-MPL Music Publishing, Inc. obo Edwin H. Morris & Co., arranged: Victor Lemonte Wooten)
Twelve Days of Christmas(Public Domain – Arranged Béla Fleck, Jeff Coffin, Roy Wooten Victor Lemonte Wooten)
J. S. Bach's Christmas Oratorio – BVW248:#42 "Ich will nur zu Ehren leben"(Public Domain Arranged Edgar Meyer and Béla Fleck, Jeff Coffin, Roy Wooten, victor Lemonte Wooten)
Christmas Time is Here(Vince Guaraldi-Lee Mendelson/Lee Mendelson Film Productions, Inc., BMI, Arranged Béla Fleck, Jeff Coffin, Roy Wooten Victor Lemonte Wooten)
Linus and Lucy(Vince Guaraldi-Lee Mendelson/Lee Mendelson Film Productions, Inc., BMI, Arranged Béla Fleck, Jeff Coffin, Roy Wooten Victor Lemonte Wooten)
Jingle Bells (reprise)(Béla Fleck, Aan-ool Sam)
The Hanukkah Waltz(Public Domain: Arranged Andy Statman, Béla Fleck, Victor Lemonte Wooten, Roy Wooten, Jeff Coffin)
Danse of the Sugar Plum Fairies(Tchaikovsky, Public Domain: Arranged Béla Fleck, Jeff Coffin, Roy Wooten Victor Lemonte Wooten)
What Child is This/Dyngyldai(Public Domain: Arranged Béla Fleck, Jeff Coffin, Roy Wooten Victor Lemonte Wooten, Alash Ensemble)
O come All Ye Faithful(Public Domain: Arranged Andy Statman, Edgar Meyer, Béla Fleck)
Medley (See Below)(Various – See Below
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas(Music by Hugh Martin, Lyrics by Ralph Blane/EMI Feist Catalog Inc., Arranged Béla Fleck, Jeff Coffin, Roy Wooten Victor Lemonte Wooten)
River(Joni Mitchell/Sony ATV Tunes LLC obo Joni Mitchell Publishing Corp., arranged Béla Fleck)


Medley:
• We Wish you a marry Christmas (Public Domain: Arranged Béla Fleck, Jeff Coffin, Roy Wooten Victor Lemonte Wooten)
• It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas (Meredith Willsom/MPI, Music Publishing, Inc. obo Edwin H. Morris & Co., Frank Music Corp & Meredith Willson Music)
• Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (Johnny Marks/St. Nicholas Music, Inc., ASCAP)
• My Favorite Things (Rodgers and Hammerstein/Williamson Music Co.)
• God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (Public Domain: Arranged Béla Fleck, Jeff Coffin, Roy Wooten Victor Lemonte Wooten)
• Little Drummer Boy (Davis, Onorati & Simeone/EMI Mills Music Inc., International Korwin Corp.)
• We Three Kings (Public Domain: Arranged Béla Fleck, Jeff Coffin, Roy Wooten Victor Lemonte Wooten)

Béla Fleck arrangements © 2008 Fleck Music (BMI), Victor Wooten arrangements © 2008 Vixlix Music (ASCAP), Jeff Coffin arrangements © 2008 Otani Music (BMI), Roy Wooten arrangements © 2008 Futureman Music (ASCAP) Administered by Bug for all artists.

Guest Artists/Musicians
Andy Statman – Mandolin and Clarinet (courtesy of Shefa Records)
Edgar Meyer – double bass

Tuvan Throat singing by Alash Ensemble:
Bady-Dorzhu Ondar – Igil
Mai-ool, Sedip – Byzaanchy
Ayan-ool, Sam – Doshpuluur
Ayan Shirizhik – Kengirge & Shynggyrash
Honorary Tuvan – Sean Quirk ("Twelve Days")

This CD was provided to me for review by Rounder Records.

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