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Lukather, Steve, & Friends: SantaMental

OK, you've heard all the Christmas CD's from Perry Como, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Kenny G, Jethro Tull, Elvis, The Moody Blues, Mariah Carey, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, the list goes on and on. Bet you never thought you'd hear a Holiday CD that is also a guitar players dream to boot? Well, Toto's famous axe-slinger Steve Lukather has assembled a host of his buddies to rip and snort their way through a mix of traditional and original Christmas tunes, running the gamut from jazz, to fiery fusion, to out and out hard rock. So, if you don't mind a bit of virtuoso jamming in your holiday fare from a group of highly skilled and seasoned players, then SantaMental will be a welcome addition to your already bulging Christmas CD collection.

Lukather's prowess on the guitar is legendary, and his vocals are soulful and melodic, both getting plenty of room to hit the spotlight here. Steve is joined by none other than Eddie Van Halen on a smoking rendition of "Joy To the World", and veteran rocker Edgar Winter adds his distinctive sax work to a splendid version of "Greensleeves", a tune that also features wonderful emotional guitar work from Lukather. The rhythm team for much of the CD is made up of John Pierce on bass, Gregg Bissonette on drums, Jeff Babke on various keyboards, and there are also appearances from Walt Fowler on trumpet, Lenny Castro on percussion, and George Shelby on sax.

"Jingle Bells" is one of the album's highlights, as it is dedicated to Lukather's hero Sammy Davis Jr., who is also sampled in to provide a stunning vocal duet with Steve. Steve Vai and Babku trade solos with Lukather on "Carol of the Bells", as does Slash on the bluesy Lukather original "Broken Heart For Christmas". Other highlights include the jazzy duet with Edgar Winter on "Winter Wonderland", Michael Landau's guest guitar solo on "Look Out For Angels", the lovely "Silent Night", and Lukather and Larry Carlton's tender take on "The Christmas Song".

I don't know about you, but I was in the mood for something new and fresh this Christmas, and Steve Lukather & Co. have provided the perfect recipe for some new sounds this year. While it's a great jazz fusion holiday CD, there's no reason why SantaMental can't be enjoyed all year round as well. A fun, classy listen from one of the most incredible musicians around.


Track Listing
1. Joy to the World - features Eddie Van Halen
2. Greensleeves - features Edgar Winter
3. Jingle Bells - features Sammy Davis Jr.
4. Carol of the Bells - features Steve Vai
5. Broken Heart for Christmas
6. Angels We Have Heard on High
7. Winter Wonderland - featuring Edgar Winter
8. Look Out For Angels - featuring Mike Landau
9. Silent Night
10. The Christmas Song/Chestnuts Roasting - Bonus Track

Added: November 14th 2005
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Score:
Related Link: Steve Lukather Website
Hits: 2646
Language: english

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