Ed Cash, Allen Levi, Bebo Norman - Joy

Monday 16th September 2002
Ed Cash, Allen Levi, Bebo Norman - Joy

STYLE: Orchestral
RATING 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
LABEL: Anchor 0301

Reviewed by Tom Lennie

As every CR reader should know by now, most Christmas albums are pretty naff. Surprise then to find here a celebration of our Saviour's birth that is utterly a knock-out! Three American singer/songwriters team up for a stunning, rootsy, acoustic-based performance, sharing a dozen highly varied and thoroughly original renditions of mainly popular carols that let you know just how things should be done! The jazzy take on the uptempo "Joy To The World" is wonderfully infectious, the moving stillness of "What Child Is This" and "O Holy Night" equally delectable, and even the children's fave "Away In A Manger" is given a fantastically fresh interpretation. Better still is the harmony structure on "Silent Night", while "Mary's Prayer" - a new song to me - is about as heart-touching a lullaby as I've ever heard. Elsewhere, "Little Drummer Boy" is soulful and funky, the closing "Go Tell It On The Mountains" carrying a rolling gospel feel. With standout vocals and instrumentation from all three players, this is one 'Christmas' album you won't want to shove away on Dec 26th. From start to finish, this is pure 'Joy'!

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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