IN THE CHRISTMAS GROOVE
Sick of the usual holiday favorites (though I’ll never tired of Saint Mariah), I was pleased as rare twist punch with In the Christmas Groove — a compilation of obscure stone cold soul, funk, and other vintage grooves from Christmas past, namely the 1960s and ’70s holiday spirits.
Kicking off with Jimmy Reed’s funkified “Christmas Presents Blues,” the album can instantly be split into two kinds of songs — those that would stand on their own, Christmastime or not, and those with an unavoidable level of merry X-mas kitsch. Most poignant of the bunch is Harlem Children’s Chorus’ soulful “Black Christmas” hoping for “that moment when/there’s peace on earth/good will to men/in the ghetto/Black Christmas.” The most James Brown-esque, get-on-your-feet and let’s dance, track come courtesy J.D. McDonald: “Boogaloo Santa Claus.” Hint: there are a few NYE tunes to help you ride out the holidays.
Get into it: