Off-Ramp | Off-Ramp host John Rabe and contributors share thoughts on arts, culture, and life in L.A.

Peter Stenshoel's Album of the Week - Joyeux Noël

I have never heard better interpretation of these charming French Christmas gems than E. Power Biggs' midcentury Columbia Masterworks release.  I like to think I have arrived at this opinion based on the merits of the argument.  But, truthfully, I am spectacularly biased.  We always played this album, since I was a little tyke, on Christmas Eve, while eating Norwegian potato dumplings (known as "klub") in anticipation of opening presents later that night.  Those fond memories fire every pipe of that Flentrop organ translated on the fine vinyl Columbia lavished on its Masterworks series.

It's the first LP I ever digitized.

I like to think that those who have their own specific holiday memories -- Divali, Hanukkah, Kwanza, Ramadan, etc. -- attached to given music, would agree with me that these peculiarly French expressions of festivity and piety have a resonance that goes beyond just Christmas, and beyond just my family.

Happy and safe holday festivities, one and all.