Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band, Bah, Humduck! A Looney Tunes Christmas

Amelia Raitt

By Amelia Raitt

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

The Grammy Award-winning jazz arranger George Goodwin and his 18-piece Big Phat Band soundtrack this latest adaptation of Charles Dickens'A Christmas Carol, Bah, Humduck! A Looney Tunes Christmas. Having worked in collaboration in animators in the past, Goodwin and his group are experts at the stop-start antics necessary to mirror the hectic pace of Donald, Bugs, Elmer, and the rest of the gang. “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” is a good case in point — the song goes from a slow chorale for winds before giving way to pushy drums and an insistent piano that take the brass faster and faster. For all of the freedom the band gets (“Kiss Me, It's Christmas” starts as “Jingle Bells” samba, for instance), Goodwin is the star here, transforming familiar Christmas standards into styles you'd never guess would work as well as they do.