Free-jazz musician, producer and video game composer Chris Schlarb is one hell of a dad. In three of the past four years, he’s recorded a Christmas album with his wife and kids. Each member of the family gets to choose a song for each album, and everyone contributes to the production (with some professional ringers giving occasional input). Each album has become more involved than the previous one: 2008 was two simple, lo-fi Christmas songs and two slapdash originals. 2009’s White Christmas Album upped the production values with four Paul McCartney covers from the Beatles’ White Album. 2011 got even more complex with Steely Dan covers. It’s not often that you hear (and enjoy!) lighthearted, unserious recordings of music from a band with such legendary perfectionism.
I think the Schlarb family’s secret is summed up by Chris on his blog:
…although these aren’t holiday songs, the important thing is that we all worked, laughed, and spent time together. It was a great joy to share my “work” with my family.
I think it’s a great joy that the Schlarbs share their family time with us on these three fun and inspiring releases.