The thing to remember, here, is that Zorn has been rumored to be working on a Christmas record since at least 2001, and the man runs his own record label and does things on his own schedule--often working on multiple projects simultaneously. He's also repeatedly declared that he's through recording at the same time that he's declared another half-dozen or more coming volumes in his Masada group series. So its hard to predict anything Zorn, let alone a release date, with any certainty. Supposedly, though, "Christmas" should be available this year (and, no doubt, on vinyl).
For now, if you're looking for Christmas with that unique Zorn perspective, you'll have to find a copy of the 1987 out-of-print import "Joyeaux Noel". Zorn contributed a fully avant-garde "jazz noir" piece--"Blues Noel"--to that collection. You can find the digital track of "Blues Noel" as part of the "Godard/Spillane" set. You'll have to purchase the entire digital album at Amazon MP3, though the Christmas track can be had a la carte at iTunes.
Leona Lewis was the X Factor champion in 2006. Her biggest hit on this side of the Atlantic was the number one smash "Bleeding Love", which topped the charts in over 30 countries in 2007 and 2008. I've long thought that Lewis could turn in an excellent holiday CD. We won't get that this year, however; Lewis' current project is said to focus on her break-up with Lou Al-Chamaa--it's been described as a "venomous ode"--and is said to be much edgier than her previous work.
Jessie J. was one of the many artists Lewis called upon to help write material for the still untitled break-up album. Jessie J.'s debut album "Who You Are" hit #2 in the UK and #11 in this country earlier this year. Her biggest single on this side of the pond has been "Price Tag", a #1 hit in the UK, which reached #23 here. Jessie says that she admires Lewis' voice and has wanted to duet with her. She adds that, ideally, she'd love to do a Christmas single featuring a super group of female British chart toppers. But, at the moment, it seems the upcoming single will be limited to Leona and Jessie.
For those who haven't tired of the formula and sound, what would Christmas be without a new release from Mannheim Steamroller? While details are scarce, "Christmas Symphony" is said to be an all new release which is set to arrive October 11. And, hey, we've even got preliminary cover art at the right. How cool is that? This year, fans of the Chip Davis creation can also look forward to a Mannheim Steamroller Holiday on Ice special, airing Thanksgiving weekend on NBC.
There's nothing remotely "foreign" about Rein's sound; her music would sound right at home on American radio. You'll hear lots of R&B influence and at least a touch of country as well. Listening to some of her music, I thought her delivery (not her voice, which is closer to Sheena Easton) was reminiscent of Bobbie Gentry. Or, to put it more precisely, I had the distinct impression that Bobbie Gentry might have a style like this had she been born in the era of American Idol (your mileage may vary).
For the few folks who don't already own Amy Grant's Christmas CDs, EMI is making it easy for you this year--offering up a two-fer of the singer's 1983 "A Christmas Album" and 1999 "A Christmas To Remember". For the time being, you're on your own for Grant's more recent holiday albums. Amy's two-fer set is just one of 6 Christian artist holiday two-fers EMI plans to release in late September. We'll get the titles on our List and track listings on our PREviews page in the very near future.
And, while I'm guessing a majority of our visitors are more interested in Bowling For Soup, we try to cover all genres, here. So we've got news of a couple of Southern Gospel groups working on holiday albums. Karen Peck and New River rank near the top of the contemporary Southern Gospel scene after 20 years and nearly 2 dozen albums. Their latest effort, "Reach Out", is available through the group's web site. Expect their Christmas album this fall.
Three Bridges has been together for about half as long as New River, but they already have a nice handful of Southern Gospel awards on their shelves and a decade's worth of solid CDs behind them. Three Bridges' Christmas CD will be their second, having previously released "Christmas" in 2007 (available through the group's web site). Their first Christmas CD was a fairly straight forward Southern Gospel affair, but it sounds like the trio is having fun with this latest effort, tentatively titled "Christmas Must Be Tonight".