-- by Marty Haugen, Donna Pena & Friends, 1997 (www.giamusic.com).
Billed as “An Advent Concert of World Music,” this recording offers three traditional Christmas carols, some original pieces, and songs from various countries. Some selections are gentle melodies backed with acoustic guitar. They are nicely done but my favorites are the upbeat tunes. Three tracks, including the title track, have a distinctive Caribbean flavor of island joy. There’s also a hot salsa number backed by a great Latin percussion ensemble, and an old spiritual given new words and an exciting arrangement. “He Came Down” is an English-language chorus from Cameroon (first made popular in the west by the Iona Community). South African music is represented by “Siyahanba,” and several songs are sung in Spanish. The songs range from contemplation to celebration. They could work well in your own church’s song services and personal worship, inspiring you to rejoice in Jesus’ birth all year long.
--reviewed by Paul Neeley
Published in Vol.3, No.3 of