Thursday, December 11, 2008

My Favorite Christmas Album

This being the "season" and all...

I just received my copy of Kemper Crabb's Christmas CD and DVD. I've been waiting for this for a very long time. He had made a video of his Christmas show last year or the year before but as far as I know he never released it. If you check out his website, you can watch clips of that video. I assume that video corresponds with his "Medieval Christmas" CD. The CD that I got was "Downe in Yon Forrest: Christmas From the Middle Ages" and the DVD is different than the video clips on his site. I don't know if he scrapped the idea of putting the first show on DVD or not, but, as you can see, I've been trying to get that (or any) video of the Christmas show that he puts on.


The "Downe in Yon Forrest" show and CD has a very similar set-list and style as the "Medieval Christmas" show, but the arrangements are more intricate on the one they finally released on DVD. The selections that I've uploaded give you a taste of the quality and beauty of Kemper's music. This is my absolute favorite Christmas CD. I hope he makes another one with different titles next year.

My favorite song on this CD is, "Of the Father's Love Begotten". This arrangement is the best I've ever heard. In fact, I would say that this is my all-time favorite song on my all-time favorite Christmas CD. Listen to it closely. You'll notice that Frank Hart's cello solo in the middle is "Joy to the World". It is very subtle, yet powerful--as if it was always supposed to be there! Enjoy!

12 comments:

thekingpin68 said...

Another classic

Arlene Kasselman said...

Hey thanks for stopping by my blog - I appreciate your thoughts. I have enjoyed reading some of your entries!

jeleasure said...

I don't know if the rendition of "Of The Father's Love Forgotten" you are speaking of is the Gregorian Monk sound. But, I know this type can be beautiful. So, if it is Gregorian, I know why you like it.
Merry Christmas.

thekingpin68 said...

We need an art rock/prog rock/rock fusion/jazz fusion Christmas album.

thekingpin68 said...

Kemper Crabb Christmas sounds like an elaborate Christmas album.

Great Googly Moogly! said...

Where do you find this stuff, Russ? Christmas with Colonel Sanders? I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes! :-)

Yes, the Kemper Crabb Christmas is very well done. He incorporates various instrumentation into the CD (and individual songs) without making it too "busy", at least to me. He's been around for a very long time. He along with Frank Hart (who plays the cello on this album) are very well known and respected in the musical world--especially in the "secular" realm.

Kemper has played with Frank on numerous projects; most notably, I guess, on Atomic Opera, a very well received "rock" outfit along the lines of Kings X (but also incorporating various and less traditional rock instrumentation into their sound ). Kemper has been infatuated with the Middle Ages for a while and his sound shows.

Kemper (and Frank), Larry Norman, Phil Keaggy, Neal Morse and Kings X are about the only "Christian" artists that I can listen to on a regular and extended basis, unless I'm in the mood for some "contemporary worship" in which case I enjoy Chris Tomlin, the Sovereign Grace Ministries Music team (not affiliated with my own SGCC church), some Third Day here and there and a few others that I can't think of.

I think I would enjoy a Neal Morse Christmas album very much. His solo progressive rock albums are as good as anything I've ever heard. When he became born again and left Spock's Beard, a lot of people thought he would "wimp out" and start sounding like Michael W. Smith or something (don't get me wrong, I don't mind Michael W. Smith; he's very good at what he does, he's just not high on my list of music to listen to, that's all), but not only did he continue make great music, in my opinion, he became even more influential in the progressive scene. His album, "One" (2004) is still one of my all-time favorite progressive rock albums.

Anyway, if he were to do a progressive Christmas album I think it would be fantastic. I would want him to do a double album; one CD featuring progressive takes on traditional Christmas songs (secular and spiritual) and the other CD featuring Christmas songs written by him. Yes.., that would be awesome! I think I'll write him and suggest this to him! :-)

Great Googly Moogly! said...

Thanks for stopping by, Arlene. I really appreciated your take on the election and I've enjoyed some of the other material I've read through.

If you look on my side bar, you'll notice "Vanguard Church". I've mentioned this site often because I've been challenged politically as well as spiritually by it. Theologically I think Bob is right on track with his understanding of the cosmic reach of the Gospel and our "role" in living in this world. I encourage you to read his material on "shalom" (especially), and also the reach and implications of the Gospel.

I had a short post (in November? October?) where I encouraged people to check out "Vanguard Church" and "The Vossed World". Bob and Chad have often caused me to think outside my "comfort zone" and have really encouraged me in the faith by their writings.

Anyway, thanks again for stopping by.

GGM

Great Googly Moogly! said...

Thanks Jim,

I'm not sure of the origin of "Of The Father's Love Begotten", but if you've listened to the song on the link provided, you will have heard my favorite version of this song (as I mentioned). I think Kemper and his gang have provided us with a very beautiful CD with incredible arrangements and performance. I've just finished watching the entire DVD and it is also incredible.

Thanks and "Merry Christmas"!

GGM

Arlene Kasselman said...

Thanks I will check it out. I am trying to reserve a day for blog catching up - so much reading and reflecting to do!

Leon Basin said...

Lovely blog!

jeleasure said...

Jason,
I did enjoy the music in "Our Father's Love Begotten". The vocal arrangement may be something that I will need to take time to get used to. I like the old Gregorian sound.
Jim

Great Googly Moogly! said...

Thanks Leon.

I hope you have a chance to check out some of the Jazz artists I recommended.

GGM