Bela Fleck’s Christmas Is Anything But Predictable

Bela Fleck is an amazing banjo player — with a banjo, he’s tackled just about every genre of music possible, from classical to bluegrass to all kinds of world music. In 2008, Fleck and his band, The Flecktones, released a Christmas album titled, “Jingle All  The Way.” It features perhaps the greatest rendition of Linus and Lucy since the original Guaraldi was aired on a Charlie Brown Christmas back in 1965.

Jingle All The Way is not for everyone — it features some pretty experimental stuff — like Jingle Bells with vocals from the Tuvan throat singer ensemble, “Alash.” ( pretty out there).

If you can get past the Tuvan Throat Singers, Fleck’s version of Jingle Bells is outstanding. (Jingle Bells Reprise is a little hard to stomach however.)

His version of The 12 Days Of Christmas is truly a musical feat — Each of the “days” is performed in a different time signature, a different key with a different instrument (the Tuvan throat singers even get a day). They also perform all of these changes during the “countdown” section of each verse — pretty amazing that they can keep it in time and key.

Even with all of the experimentation, it retains its Christmas feel throughout.

Jingle All The Way won a Grammy in 2009 for Best Pop Instrumental Album. If you buy it, I guarantee you’ll listen to it every year.

Linus & Lucy

12 Days of Christmas

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