Joyful Tidings in September

In the whimsically titled The Knights Before Christmas the resourceful group The Knights gathered together with several collaborators to bring us well before the Christmas musical onslaught a handful of arrangements of folk, pop, and traditional tunes appropriate to the holiday season but immensely enjoyable even if the temperature outside pushes 80 degrees at midday in mi-September.

The joyful musical tidings included in the Bright Shiny Things album range from inventive settings of the familiar Do You Hear What I Hear, O Holy Night, Little Drummer Boy, and Coventry Carol – all four by Christina Courtin- to Spanish language solo turns with Gaby Moreno and Magos Herrera, to instrumental arrangements by Michael P. Atkinson and Colin Jacobsen.

The collaborating soloists include pipa player Wu Man, countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo, and violinist Colin Jacobsen playing fiddle in the rhythmic Haneros Haluli.

The music-making throughout this CD is honest, unmannered, straightforward and disarmingly charming.