Monday, December 18, 2017

Chimes at Christmas Time

What would a Christmas season be without a share of Christmas music featuring chimes?  Hardly a Christmas season at all, mate!  And lest we spoil the anticipation of the annual chimes record by, perish the though, not having one this season, Der Bingle is here to assuage your fears.  For tonight, I have "Chimes at Christmas Time", featuring Lew White at the Organ and the cĂ©libataire nommĂ© Frederico on the Chimes.

There's a lot to like about this album starting with the credited artwork on the cover.  The original painting "Chimes at Christmas Time" by the notable illustrator Tracy Sugarman graces the album cover.  Mr. Sugarman was a Navy veteran who turned his talents to art, illustrating hundreds of books, articles, and albums.  "Chimes at Christmas Time" is one of many Mr. Sugarman's works for The Grand Award Collection of records.

Next is the fact that they led off this album of 18 songs with "Silent Night".  Yeah man!  No waiting for the last song on the album for Lew and Frederico, not like everyone else.  Kick off the show with the classic.  Kind of like if Rush opened a concert with "Tom Sawyer".  You'd dig it. 

Mainly though, I like the music.  The album was very clean, so the rip to digital turned out well.  The eighteen (18!) songs are mainly standards, although there are a few that will be new to many listeners, including "Shepherds Shake Off Your Drowsy Sleep", "God Give Ye Merry Christmastide", and "Beautiful Savior".  There's only so much arranging one can do for the simple combo or organ and chimes, but it is finely done here.  It's enjoyable music for the season, produced by the incomparable Enoch Light. 

The back cover is practically an encyclopedia of information about the album, songs, Mr. Sugarman, recording technical data, and much more.  Just nothing about the mysterious Frederico.  Hmmmm....


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