Roberto Perera

Christmas Fantasies

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Roberto Perera's Paraguayan harp is a surprisingly useful choice for a Christmas record; as an instrument, it has an evocative voice capable of appealing to fans of steel drums or smooth jazz guitar. Although the record wisely uses a live band of percussionists for accompaniment, they're never allowed room for playing beyond the rote Christmas record backing (and the several tracks that add keyboards make the songs sound especially cloying). Perera is a master of the harp, but a solo setting would have resulted in a better album for the holidays. Highlights include "What Child Is This?," "Winter Wonderland," and "Niño Lindo."

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