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Jingle All The Way

4.7 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 30, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

2008 release, the first holiday album from B‚la Fleck & the Flecktones. Jingle All the Way is Christmas music as it's never been heard it before, with unique tonal textures (banjo, Tuvan throat singing, klezmer, mandolin), hot solos and tight ensemble arrangements that make every measure new. Jingle All the Way is the perfect stocking stuffer. Includes festive faves like 'Jingle Bells', 'Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas', 'The Christmas Song', 'Sleigh Ride' and more.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 30, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rounder
  • ASIN: B001EOQTOC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #86,617 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The Flecktones have always been known for incredible instrumental abilities and challenging arrangements. By recording a holiday collection, they have made their music more accessible without sacrificing technique. This is also an incredibly diverse collection: I find that there are songs I can't stop listening to, some I enjoy greatly, and some that are fine (as well as one that is terrible--I can tolerate Tuvan throat singing as a texture, not as the primary instrument as it is on the Jingle Bells reprise).

"Jingle Bells" has quite a bit of throat singing, but the chromatic bass line is what really makes this different and interesting. Similarly, "Silent Night" has enough alternate chords and a driving rhythm to make a well-known carol new and unusual. "Sleigh Ride" is the first song that I find incredible--Bela starts it with a common opening banjo-lick (think "Foggy Mountain Breakdown"), that tears into a series of single-line runs that are astonishing in their fluidity. Jeff matches this on the sax later in the song, all of which is propelled by Vic and Futureman's astonishing groove. Vic's solo includes a quote from "The Wizard of Oz," and during the instrumental breakdown he begins a "Rudolph" quote that the rest of the band picks up on. Astonishing musicianship; any question that these guys love playing together?

The next song is a stunningly gorgeous solo bass rendition of "The Christmas Song." Vic shows the full potential of the bass as a solo instrument with high chords over a resonating low tone that is full and beautiful. "12 Days" is another favorite, with the band tackling a different meter and key with each day.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Bela Fleck and the Flecktones have come together with a wonderful Christmas CD in the form of Jingle all the Way.
Bela Fleck and the Flecktones are making some of the most innovative and refreshing music these days, and it really shows in this Christmas CD.

Bela plays the banjo, Victor Wooten on bass guitar, Future Man on percussion, and Jeff Coffin on sax and woodwinds and strange vocals. The last one does make some really strange vocal noises that I've heard in recent years; he doesn't sing, he nasally and throatfully performs, and strangely appropriate at times(Jingle Bells and Jingle Bells are examples).

My absolute favorite tunes on this CD are the remake of Vince Guaraldi's "Linus and Lucy", "Silent Night", "Sleigh Ride", and "Bela's Banjo Solo Christmas".
These wonderful renditions of classic Christmas songs in pure instrumental form are wonderful to listen to.

So, have a Bela Fleck Christmas!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Where else can you find American-style banjo and mandolin married to Tuvan throat singing in straight-ahead American jazz arrangements, tinged with bluegrass, all centered on a Christmas theme? Fleck and his crew are master musicians who make you feel immediately that you're getting your money's worth. The arrangements will challenge and intrigue the music scholar but the average person can just have a great time with this music. Fleck has married not only the instruments of different cultures but also the poignancy of his solo instruments with the whimsy and humor of "Jingle Bells" sung by a Tuvan throat-singing ensemble. Yet this is not novelty for its own sake; it is brilliantly conceived and executed, and great fun.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
I must admit when I hear of ANYone coming out with a Christmas album I roll my eyes. So many of these records feel obligatory and half-hearted. It has unfortunately created a disdain for holiday music in me because it all feels more canned than baked beans (and just as gaseous).

Until I heard this album. I think I smiled from beginning to end of this funky, quirky and creative collection. It is what the Flecktones do best: take a song no matter the style, structure or origins and turn each one into a feast of pleasant surprises. From the use of the Tuvan Throat Singers to sing Jingle Bells in a foreign language (and in a later reprise to self-harmonize...amazing if you have never heard such a thing) to a breakneck "Stomping Grounds"-style romp of "Sleigh Ride" that shows off the groups legendary musicianship, this is a very satisfying collection to fans of progressive, eclectic music that shuns any possible radio faux-label. Which means it is terrific. Nothing forced here. Just pure Flecktone hyper-creativity and fun and a Christmas album that does not make you want to puke up your coffee and pumpkin pie.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Gotta love Bela and the Flecktones. This is a fun Holiday album whether or not your are a fan of Holiday music. It is great music done well by great musicians - who are clearly having fun. For us, it is a great, happy reminder of the live show, a sampling of the same material, that we caught at Yoshi's (twice) in SF last year. Fabulous!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Simply, a progressive and entertaining 'holiday' offering, but so tasty.
Simply, progressive and jazz interpretations of familiar holiday songs, but like nothing you've ever heard. Throat singers, strains of holiday melodies subtlety interlaced with improvisations.

I have a lot of holiday music, from over the years. I like new and traditional, I like offering from my favorites , like Ray Charles, Ella, Sting, Enya, the Blue Hawaiians, Chris Isaak, Maddie Prior, and so many many others.

One of my favorites holiday albums. It is fresh, has humor, and is a great way to hear music you have heard for decades and find it new, innovative and vitalizing.
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