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Christmas Music Picks
One of our favorite gifts to give and get is that of music, and northern Michigan artists offer a number of great selections. Here are a few of our favorites...

Also winning our vote for "best Album of 1996", Horndance by Song of the Lakes has proven to be one of those albums that stand the test of time. The disc spans the breadth of this talented groups music reach, from traditional favorites to original works and it's the kind of CD that you can listen to over and over (and over again). Get it for one you love (and pick up an extra for yourself--you won't regret it).

Review of Horndance in the Northern michigan Journal

The Otterman's Pick for Best of 95 was this work by the Jeff Haas Trio:
"This album, after several dozen listens, still surprises me. It's not just the music, but also the simple fact it is so well performed and recorded. From the compositions, the understated style, the exquisite textures, the passionate invocations, all the way to the artwork, this album proclaims that it is a serious undertaking. And, if anything, this is one of the few flaws I find with the album: it conveys such a serious tone, even with the sweet and adroit alto clarinet of special guest Marvin Kahn....The execution is superb; the results, poignant. The two Kahn originals, On and Off and Addicted to an Idea though providing a lighter balance for the rest of the material, fit in very well. But, its the closer, Faith/Lonnie's Lament, a 16 minute solo piano excursion combining a Haas adaptation of a Hebrew melody with a John Coltrane melody, that is the masterpiece of this album.

Anyone who considers themselves a serious student or fan of the jazz medium owes it to themselves to give a close and serious listen to this album."

Harry Goldson has struck again! In Mood Swings Volume II, Harry has once again gathered a solid collection of musicians and tunes. We're finding it to be great "background music" as we work on this issue! Harry prefers his jazz from the Chicago Swing era, and that is exactly where he takes his clarinet and bandmates back to on this album.

For those of you who prefer a slightly harder edge to your music, Situation Normal by Lansing-based Daddy Longlegs might be just the ticket. Featuring solid guitar and rhythm section work as well as the horns of Hammertone and the mysterious Super E, this intelligent disc poses some interesting social questions and has the added bonus of sounding great at extreme decibles.

Daddy will be in northern Michigan, giving you a chance to burn off some of that Thanksgiving turkey, on November 29th and 30th at Union Street Station in Traverse City.

Daddy Longlegs Web Site

John Knight of Traverse City's Full Circle Recording taps Encore Christmas: Reflections By the Bay from the Encore Society of Music as his choice for music that is not only local but seasonal as well. Says Mr. Knight: "They performed very well and there are two tunes: a version of Silent Night that I've never heard anything like before and the 15-minute Russian Christmas that are in and of themselves worth the price -- but you get all the rest too."

Also not to be forgotten is one that comes out here every year, Classical Guitar for Christmas by Doug Hansen and available from Otter Creek Music.

Links From This Article
NMJ Musical Review: Horndance Daddy.Longlegs.Com
Otter Creek Music

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