Red Nativity

One Holy Night [#2]

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Combining the talents of Robby Bee and Paul LaRoche, aka Brule, this recording at its best impresses with its amalgamation of new age and Native American elements. The CD is a musical journey beginning with Creation and ending with the second coming of Jesus. This brings such seemingly disparate musical ideas such as "O Come All Ye Faithful" and Native American chanting within the same song, and much of the time the concept works very effectively. Often the music is very pretty, such as the keyboard-based opening cut "The Miracle of Life." "A Midnight Clear" is eerie and convincing in its depiction through percussive sounds of the time between Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection. The only musical misstep may be "Wakan Tanka's Prayer," which runs dangerously close to sounding like new age disco in the beginning, giving a gloss to a recording that is capable of moving beyond pop or new age clich├ęs. "Silent Grace" is the most effective cut at incorporating the western and Native traditions, as it moves from Western style music into flutes until it ends with a moving rendition of "Amazing Grace" sung in a native tongue. In this gentle yet powerful cut that honors both traditions, Red Nativity begins moving beyond mere combination of styles into something original.

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