"But... I mean... jazz..."

Sonic Gloo

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Have Yourself a Very Surreal Post Xmas
"But... I mean... jazz..."
So I just got back from a mostly business trip to Las Vegas (and a bit of vacation in SoCal) where I was able to squeeze in a fair number of stops at a few key record stores and a bunch of thrift shops. This morning, for 50 cents each, I picked up two oddball xmas albums, primarily for the cover art.

This first one may be the single most disturbing holiday album cover I've ever seen. Beyond the creepy faux longing look the kid is giving the strange looking Santa HEAD sitting on the sleigh on the front cover, the back cover shows the mysterious unhappy Santa has obviously taken over the kid's body...  ALIEN ABDUCTION!   Evil Santa's mouth appears to be a different angle as if he is warning bad kids that they could make for a tasty stew with puppy dog tails and big fat snails ...   If this was the "first" Christmas record I was given as a little kid, I would have run screaming from the room.

It's not a terrible collection of holiday music and has some oddities such a Captain Kangaroo delivering a tale of "The Littlest Snowman" at the end of side 1. This was marketed by Columbia Records, by the way, not some little fly by night operation.... it has been reissued many times over the years apparently and is even available on CD and MP3 download now... but ... thankfully not with this cover art... 

GulliverSantaThis next one was a surprise because it turns out to be a pretty groovy fun album of Dixieland inspired holiday music done by none other than Alvino Ray (a popular name in big band music back in the day) recording under an alias (according to an entry on Amazon.com "Ira Ironstrings was Fritz Guckenheimer’s fictional Dixieland cousin, whose real identity, it can now be revealed, was big band guitarist Alvino Rey of "talking" steel guitar fame!" Recorded for Warner Brother's Records, early on in the label's existence, this album is from 1959. It sounds remarkable!   Very early hard-panned Left-Right stereo but, extremely well recorded to the point where I may even use this for demos some time. Still, I love the cover art of Santa tied down ala Gulliver. Fun stuff.


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