Wednesday, November 24, 2021

New Music: Cliff Beach "Merry Christmas, Happy New Year"

There is nothing Der Bingle likes better than Christmas music that makes me smile.  I love all genres of the holiday tunes, the jazz, the blues, the pop, the punk, a touch of the metal, the rock, the roll - you name it, and I'll like Christmas songs that are well-performed in any style.

But it's the ones that have an infectious happiness, a beat and an energy that tells me the singer had a whale of a good time making the song, those are the ones that push a smile out and get my head a boppin'.  Cliff Beach's "Merry Christmas, Happy New Year" is just such an album.  Christmas standards, soul style with such a funky holly jolly groove that your toes will be tappin'. 

Cliff is an alum of Berklee College of Music, is an award winning songwriter with two Silver Medal Global Music Awards, and is the creator of a new style of music he calls "Nu-funk".  Cliff's attention turned to making a holiday album after performing at a Virtual Holiday Concert with the Los Angeles Dept. of Recreation and Parks during the pandemic.  He channeled the good vibes from the concert into creating "Merry Christmas, Happy New Year".

"Merry Christmas, Happy New Year" has 10 Christmas standards, arranged and "funkin' them way up" by Cliff.  "This Christmas", "Run Rudolph Run", and even "The Christmas Song" get the Cliff Beach treatment to great effect.  "Frosty the Snowman" and "You're a Mean One Mr. Grinch" are two highlights of the soul/funk spirit Cliff puts into the songs.

Cliff Beach

My favorites come in succession on the album, tracks 5, 6, and 7.  "Merry Christmas Baby", a, or maybe the, soul standard made popular by Charles Brown starts this incredible trio of songs.  Next up is "Soulful Christmas", a hit for the great James Brown.  Third in this trinity is the Louis Armstrong classic "Zat You Santa Claus".  These three songs are the heart of the album, and Misters Brown, Brown, and Armstrong would certainly approve of the reverence, spunk, and joy with which Cliff Beach performs them.

"Merry Christmas Happy New Year" is available on Amazon and all the usual streaming and digital outlets.

Cliff Beach website

Play "Merry Christmas Happy New Year" on Spotify

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