R. Carlos Nakai

Winter Dreams for Christmas

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Navajo flautist Carlos Nakai first collaborated with guitarist William Eaton on the haunting and panoramic album Carry the Gift. Here they turn their talents to reflective interpretations of traditional Christmas carols, with the self-penned "The First Snowfall" thrown in for good measure. In addition to guitar, William Eaton also plays lyre and harp-guitar (all of which he makes) which smoothly blend with Nakai's Native American flutes. The carols are used as a base for some liberal improvisation, with his birdlike trills and warbles evoking the open spaces of the southwestern deserts. Chimes and background synthesizer add occasional coloring, and on the final piece, "Silent Night," a soft-voiced Navajo chorus sings the words in their native tongue. More introspective than most Christmas albums, Winter Dreams may inspire the listener to ponder the themes and dreams of the holiday season.

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