I am glad to know that Christmas Is For Grownups Too. I never claimed to have grown up, just out, as in a larger belly, once I got into my mid forties. That is nothing a few crunches and some vigorous treadmill workouts on regular basis cannot make disappear, but then there is the holidays....
It is the beginning of October and we already have a Christmas CD to check out. Is this a little too early.... I mean Halloween is not even here yet. Well, I just listened to the kind of holiday music that is fun to listen to all year round, so it does not matter that Christmas is three months away. This CD well certainly gets you in the spirit regardless of the date you happen to be listening to it.
Juan Oskar has 24 musical treats for you to delight in this year on his Christmas Is For Grownups Too CD. Oskar takes his trusty Yamaha Motif ES6 Keyboard, his trumpet, a few very well done vocal parts from some talented female vocalists, and turns it into one big festival of the holidays for a worldwide audience to enjoy.
So again, here I am looking at another CD that has a lion’s share of processed music through a keyboard. The doubt creeps in, you start questioning the talent of the artist, and then something magical happens and suddenly all of that trepidation disappears and you are really enjoying what you are hearing, what do you know? This has been happening to me more often, especially this year for some reason. So many crafty artists are coming up with these well put together CDs by using one incredible keyboard like the ES6, taking some real instruments, played very well by the way, then adding a variety of vocals. Surprisingly, time after time, this offers any listener seeking something different with a unique blend of sounds and genres all wrapped tightly with a bright red bow ready for Christmas an option that was rarely available before. This year around the holidays, you have to look no further than Mr. Oskar. Okay, you have your Andy Williams, Frank Sinatra, and The Carpenters CDs, all wonderful holiday music, but then you have something like this that is totally out the ordinary, something you would actually like to listen to anytime.
Oskar plays jazz with a Latin influence, has some vocals in Spanish, rocks out, throws in some Ventures licks here and there, and comes up with something I have never heard before. He does this consistently in all 24 tracks, now that is a lot of music, a double LP back in the day you know (for those of you that can remember or discovered vinyl recently). My favorite track on the entire album is "Fur Elise." I felt it was one of the more exceptional offerings on the CD, while "Decking The Halls in 1966" is like a Ventures greatest hits of the 60s sampled and sandwiched in between the traditional "Deck The Halls." That track really got my attention and made me realize that the CD was coming to end very soon. I knew that what I was hearing has to be one of the most entertaining and different holiday CDs in many years.
One can no longer underestimate the talents of individuals that can manipulate a keyboard to sound like an entire ensemble; it takes ingenuity and creativity to record a CD like this. Viva! Juan Osakar and Feliz Navidad to all.