The Holiday Music Gift Guide

The Holiday Music Gift Guide
ESSENCE.COM Dec, 19, 2008

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“Cadillac Records” costars Jeffrey Wright and Beyoncé’s portrayal of blues legends Muddy Waters and Etta James, respectively, was great to witness but nothing beats hearing the real thing on this soul-stirring compilation of “The Best of Chess Records—The Original Versions of Songs in the film Cadillac Records” ($12; music retailers nationwide)

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Jazz up someone’s holiday with one of these never-before-seen concerts from the Jazz Icons DVD third series, featuring legends such as Sonny Rollins, Lionel Hampton, Nina Simone and many others. ($15 each; music and movie retailers nationwide)

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‘Tis the season to lift spirits and set the mood with holiday cheer by sharing seasonal melodies from some of our favorite artists: Ledisi’s, “It’s Christmas”; Aretha Franklin’s “This Christmas” (DMI); Brian McKnight’s “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” (Razor & Tie); Coko’s (formerly of SWV), “A Coko Christmas” (Light Records); Natalie Cole’s “Caroling, Caroling: Christmas with Natalie Cole” (Elektra/Rhino).

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Rahsaan Patterson‘s also has a Christmas album, “The Ultimate Gift” (Artistry Music). And don’t forget spiritual tunes from Kirk Franklin, Mary Mary, Trinitee 5:7, Vickie Winans, Marvin Sapp and more gospel artists. Prices vary; available at music retailers nationwide.

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What’s more perfect than the gift that keeps on giving? The (RED) iPod shuffle ($49) donates a portion of its proceeds to The Global Fund to Fight AIDS in Africa.

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The iTunes (PRODUCT) Gift Card ($25) ( <> ) also donates a portion of its proceeds to The Global Fund to Fight AIDS in Africa.

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Treat the reggae and roots lover on your list to this vintage collection of riddims from Kingston, Jamaica’s iconic music shop and recording studio, Randy’s. The two-disc collection with DVD, “Reggae Anthology: Randy’s 50th Anniversary” (17 North Parade/VP), offers insight into the Caribbean’s most historic legends through song and film including original tunes and footage of Bob Marley and The Wailers, Peter Tosh, Gregory Toots & Maytals, The Skatalites, Dennis Brown and others (available music retailers nationwide).

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Get music on the go without the hassle of Internet downloads or computer connections with Sansa’s slotMusic player ($20), a user-friendly digital player that delivers music at your finger tips.


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