Review Summary: As nice as John Zorn could be.
It's Christmas time in many countries but not all. So many homes have Christmas trees and decorations. Christians celebrate Jesus' birthday. Atheists get some days off work. Some workplaces hold Christmas parties. Along the holiday, festive activities include exchanging presents, watching Home Alone, playing tabletop games with family, eating so much food, and, most important, singing Christmas songs. In a way of capturing this spirit of the season, John Zorn released his own jazzy version of some Christmas standard tunes.
As for the album, it features seven traditional holiday tracks and two Zorn originals, Santa's Workshop
and Magical Sleigh Ride
, performed in The Dreamers style. Filled with a joyful holiday spirit, A Dreamers Christmas
, unlike most Zorn's output, leans closer to jazz standard, combining exotica with Hawaii music. Throughout the album, Marc Ribot’s twinkling guitar, Trevor Dunn’s bass work, and Joey Baron’s smooth drumming, and Kenny Wollesen’s agile vibraphone create this atmospheric snow covered take, asking for the company of some hot cocoa. Furthermore, all tracks are instrumental except the last one, The Christmas Song
, which features Mike Patton on vocals.
All in all, A Dreamers Christmas
, capable to put smiles on people faces, is as nice as John Zorn could be, however, it's not as interesting or essential as others of his albums. Although there are some good moments, this album works way better as background music on Christmas parties or while driving to work. That said, A Dreamers Christmas
is nice and quiet, but doesn't challenge its listener or take any risks.