New Orleans Christmas

Music review by
Tony Whittum, Common Sense Media
New Orleans Christmas Music Poster Image
Holiday classics jazzed up for a Big Easy cause.

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The parents' guide to what's in this music.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that there is absolutely nothing offensive or objectionable on this holiday album. Producers will give a portion of its proceeds to the New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity in support of its Musicians' Village project.

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What's the story?

While the natural and man-made disasters that befell New Orleans in 2005 brought plenty of despair to the region, they also brought an amazing outpouring of generosity and reminded everyone of the sheer strength of the human spirit. That love and indomitable spirit are poignantly expressed on NEW ORLEANS CHRISTMAS and in the best way the Big Easy knows how: through blues, jazz, and swing. As part of the Putumayo world music collection, the focus is not only on compiling music from the best artists in a genre or region, but also on charity. A portion of the album's sales will benefit the New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity in support of its Musicians' Village Project. It's the holiday gift that keeps on giving.

Is it any good?

Whether the songs are clever twists on old holiday favorites -- like Big Al Carson's "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town"; sassy and bluesy, like "'Zat You Santa Claus?" by Ingrid Lucia; or quietly beautiful and especially poignant, like "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" by the velvet-voiced Topsy Chapman -- this timely collection captures the spirit of the holidays, the voice and soul of New Orleans music, and the strength and resiliency of its people.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the strength and endurance of the human spirit when faced with hardship. How is this album a show of strength for the people of New Orleans? How does it get at the true spirit of Christmas? You can also talk about the musical influences in New Orleans. How do you know when you're hearing the blues? Dixieland jazz? Soul music? What's your favorite musical style on this album?

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