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Director's Cuts: The 2003 CD Gift Guide
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Director's Cuts: The 2003 CD Gift Guide

Director's Cuts: The 2003 CD Gift Guide

Director's Cuts: The 2003 CD Gift Guide
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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1525457/1525458" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Weekend Edition Sunday music director Ned Wharton presents his annual holiday gift guide, with the latest edition of "Director's Cuts." Suggestions include the Blind Boys of Alabama (left), whose new CD, Go Tell It On the Mountain, features vocals by Tom Wait, Chrissie Hynde and others.

Mexican Divas

The independent Mexican label Opción Sónica has amassed an impressive collection of Mexican pop singers outside the boundaries of Mexico's TV monopoly Televisa, which has dominated Mexican pop culture for years. Out of 3 previously-released volumes, they've been boiled down to a new release available in this country: The Best of Mexican Divas.

Jaco Pastorius Big Band

Jaco Pastorus Big Band

Word of Mouth Revisited hide caption

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Bandleader Peter Graves gathered a who's-who of electric bass players for this tribute to the late bass innovator Jaco Pastorius, who changed the instrument forever when he played with Weather Report, Joni Mitchell, Pat Metheny and others. Word of Mouth Revisited features players including Jimmy Haslip, Victor Wooten, Marcus Miller and Christian McBride.

A3

A3

Power In the Blood hide caption

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If you've ever wondered about that driving groove that's heard at the top of each episode of The Sopranos, this is the group: A3. Known as Alabama 3 in their native London, and A3 here in the States, their CD, Power in the Blood, includes a bonus disc featuring an acoustic version of "Woke Up This Morning," the theme from The Sopranos.

The Shins

The Shins

Chutes Too Narrow hide caption

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This fresh pop from Albuquerque and transplanted to Portland, Ore., features an exuberant garage-y sound, thanks to the lo-fi tinge of the recording made in lead singer James Mercer's basement.

Abayudaya

Abayudaya

Abayudaya: Music from the Jewish People of Uganda hide caption

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In a small corner of eastern Uganda, the 600-member Abadayuda community has been combining Hebrew prayer with traditional music since their ancestors converted to Judaism in 1919.

Katonda Oyo Nalimana (God Is All-Knowing)
Only Available in Archive Formats.
Mwana, Ngolera (Baby, Keep Quiet)
Only Available in Archive Formats.

American Song-Poem Christmas

American Song-Poem Christmas

American Song-Poem Christmas hide caption

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Vanity recording outfits have for years been advertising to attract poets and closet musicians, offering (for a price) to set words to music. Many of these so-called "song-poems" have become collector's items. Bar/None Records has been compiling them lately, with a CD released earlier this year called Do You Know the Difference Between Big Wood and Brush. Now there's a holiday release: The American Song-Poem Christmas: Daddy, Is Santa Really Six Foot Four? with astonishing titles including "Santa Came On a Nuclear Missile," "How Do They Spend Christmas In Heaven" and "Santa Fix My Toys For Christmas."

Santa Came on a Nuclear Missle
Only Available in Archive Formats.

Kerry Getz

California singer-songwriter Kerry Getz says that when she was a kid, her older brother got an acoustic guitar from Santa, and while he was in school, Kerry would surreptitiously teach herself Christmas carols on the instrument. Today her CD, It's a Wonderful Life, on World in Motion Records shows off her full talents, with some Christmastime originals as well as rich folk-rock arrangements of lesser-performed carols such as "Lullay Lully" and "The Wexford Carol."

Blind Boys of Alabama

Blind Boys of Alabama

Go Tell It On the Mountain hide caption

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The soulful Blind Boys of Alabama deliver rousing gospel and rich harmonies on this Christmas disc. They are backed by an eclectic roster of singers and players, including Tom Waits, Chrissie Hynde, Richard Thompson, Solomon Burke and others.

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Best of Mexican Divas

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Album
Best of Mexican Divas
Artist
Various Artists
Label
Opción Sónica
Released
2003

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Word of Mouth Revisited

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Album
Word of Mouth Revisited
Artist
Jaco Pastorius Big Band
Label
Heads Up

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Power in the Blood

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Album
Power in the Blood
Artist
A3
Label
One Little Indian
Released
2002

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Power in the Blood [Bonus Disc]

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Album
Power in the Blood [Bonus Disc]
Artist
A3
Label
One Little Indian
Released
2003

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Chutes Too Narrow

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Album
Chutes Too Narrow
Artist
The Shins
Label
Sub Pop

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Abayudaya - Music from the Jewish People of Uganda

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Abayudaya - Music from the Jewish People of Uganda
Artist
Various Artists
Label
Smithsonian Folkways

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It's a Wonderful Life

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Album
It's a Wonderful Life
Artist
Kerry Getz
Label
World In Motion

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Go Tell It on the Mountain

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Go Tell It on the Mountain
Artist
Blind Boys of Alabama
Label
Real World

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American Song-Poem Christmas

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Album
American Song-Poem Christmas
Artist
Various Artists
Label
Bar/None
Released
2003

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