Christmas CDs: Matt Wilson, Matassa/Anderson

The other day a man who acted on last year's Rifftides recommendation of Carla Bley's Carla's Christmas Carols let me know that he was disappointed in the album. Indeed, he was offended by it. In the review, I described the "tenderness, wit, harmonic brilliance, wide dynamic range and wry sense of nostalgia" in Bley's arrangements of traditional holiday songs. My friend said that he likes his Christmas songs straight, without "all those minors." I refrained from a discussion of the importance of … [Read more...]