Personnel: D.C. Anderson (vocals, whistling); Steve Landau (vocals, piano); Jim Bullock, Claudia Anderson (vocals); Ritt Henn (whistling); Steve Bargonetti, Roy Zimmerman (guitar); Kathy Robinson (oboe); Lem Jay Ignacio (piano).
Audio Mixer: Dennis Drake.
Recording information: Bernie Becker Studio, Van Nuys, CA; Studio 900, New York, NY.
Photographer: D.C. Anderson.
Arrangers: Steve Landau; Richard Gray ; Roy Zimmerman.
A veteran of cabaret, musical comedy, and variety show stages, vocalist D.C. Anderson devotes his fourth album to the Christmas season. The play list is a combination of the familiar and unfamiliar, the traditional and the commercial, the old and the new, with the latter including some originals by Anderson. Anderson owns all those good qualities that make a successful cabaret singer; he picks songs that tell a story and he sings them in such a way that one can understand them. No sloppy diction here. He also knows how to pick accompanists, especially on piano, who are tuned to the nuances of his vocal style. Appearing on most of the tracks, Lem Jay Ignacio and Steven Landau fill that role admirably. On the play list, one of the less-familiar Christmas songs that is especially attractive is "Heaven Can't Be Far," with words by the Grammy-nominated lyricist Susan Birkenhead. Steve Bargonetti's guitar is essential to the success of this track. There's a change of mood, as the music becomes perky and bouncy on the upbeat "A Marshmallow World," where Ignacio shows why he's Anderson's most persistent accompanist. The cabaret singer's ability to deliver the songs wrapped in hallowed sincerity is useful on such traditional carols as "Silent Night." In this age of electronic creativity, Anderson reproduces himself, forming a choir of his voice on such tunes as "Are You Burning Little Candle." There's a bit of a Latin beat as Anderson describes the pleasures of "Christmas Island at Christmas Time." This album is for those who don't necessarily want to be limited to the old stuff, but appreciate new and unusual tunes dedicated to the celebration of Christmas. ~ Dave Nathan