The final part of the Ultra Lounge Christmas set certainly sees them running out of steam. There’s far fewer songs and the total running time is nearly 20 minutes shorter. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some great tracks here.
CARMEN McRAE-“Baby It’s Cold Outside” a fun opening with some talking before the song between Carmen and Sammy Davis Jr. Davis is really silly through the song (and she seems to be laughing him). BING CROSBY-“Frosty The Snowman” wonderful. LENA HORNE-“Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town” a trippy opening in which Horne was “in the milky way.” Then the song kicks in—a fun version overall. Strangely she switches “bad or good” into “good or bad.” JOHNNY MERCER-“Jingle Bells” a fun hopping version with plenty of swing. There’s even extra lines (“there’s nothing new about jingle bells”).
WAYNE NEWTON-“Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” Female vocalists again (I thought Newton was a singer?), but nevertheless, it’s a fun version. NANCY WILSON-“That’s What I Want For Christmas” a pretty song, that I didn’t know before. I really dig Nancy Wilson. DEAN MARTIN-“Winter Wonderland” delightful, I do love the Deano. BILLY MAY-“Do You Believe In Santa Claus?” – Billy May’s deep dark rather scary voice presents this weird song. It’s funny and a little spooky what with the crazy way it ends.
PEGGY LEE-“White Christmas” this version is too for me. AL MARTINO-“Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer” this is a nice version, though. RAY ANTHONY-“A Marshmallow World” a lovely version of this fun song. LOU RAWLS-“Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” Rawls has finally won me over. I like this song by him. JULIE LONDON-“I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm” slow and jazzy but too slow for me. NAT KING COLE-“Buon Natale (Means Merry Christmas To You)” a fun song quaint and cute and one you don’t hear very often. JUNE CHRISTY-“Sorry To See You Go” I don’t know this song, it’s more of a New Year’s song. Swet and bouncy. Although not my favorite ending to the discs.
So that’s the Ultra Lounge mixes, easily my favorite way to spend a holly day.
[READ: December 24, 2014] The Barbarians
This was the final Baricco book I planned to read this year and it’s a good way to end the year–reflecting on the past but planning to move forward.
It’s nonfiction so I didn’t really know what to expect. But I certainly didn’t expect the story in the beginning of the book. Baricco explains that he really wanted this book to be translated into English (especially for the American market where he felt it would be particularly on target) but he couldn’t find anyone to publish it. And he didn’t want to go self publishing. He ultimately found a friend in New York, owner of Eataly who agreed to foot the cost. They did the work and then Random House distributed it.
So Stephen Sartarelli translated it. The book is a fun and interesting look at the barbarians who are ruining our culture and destroying our soul. But Baricco is very careful to point out that just because they are ruining things, it doesn’t mean that they are making things worse or doing it maliciously. He uses several specific instances in which the barbarians have changed something held sacred and made it, if not better, then different and often more enjoyable.
This book was originally written as a series of newspaper articles in 2006 (not sure exactly when). He says it was fun to see feedback as he was writing each installment (each “chapter” is about four pages). (more…)