Friday, November 14, 2014

CD Review: TriBeCastan's 'Coal, Again!'

Coal, Again!
Evergreene Music

Christmastime will never be the same once this is released. The folks of TriBeCastan continue to amaze us with a world fusion of sorts, but this time it revolves around a holiday. There are some basic Christmas favorites here with some tongue-in-cheek stuff going on, including "Silver Bells," "Little Drummer Boychik," "Good King What's His Name?," "Carol Of The Bells," "Jingle Bells," and "O Little Town Of Bethlemayhem." The instrumental tunes might have a few spoken words throughout the entire album. The music is loosely based on the Christmas classics, but the main melodies and rhythms are all there. In this case, the group brings together a world presence with a multitude of gifts, including instruments as diverse as a royal benju, fujara, citera, khomak, yayli tambur, and others. The lilting melodies capture a bit of a South Pacific or Hawaiian feel on some of the tunes, while jazzy and layered elements create dizzying possibilities on others. Who knew 'coal' could be this fun? This is an excellent stocking stuffer for the eclectic music fan. ~ Matthew Forss

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