I personally think Shawn Lee’s Ping Pong Orchestra may have created the very first psychedelic hip hop rock instrumental Christmas album of all time. Honestly, that is the only way I can think of to describe this thing. The album, A Very Ping Pong Christmas, is chock full of Christmas standards we have come to cherish and love presented in a totally refreshing way.
Little Drummer Boy sounds like a George Harrison and Ravi Shankar sitar infused jam session. With a tight snare drum beat in the background, the piano, guitar and horns join in with the sitar to form a collaborative wall of sound.
What A Wonderful World employs the same snare drums, piano, guitar and more for a floating succinct version of Louis Armstrong’s classic song of hope. It may not technically be a Christmas song but in it the spirit of the season rings true.
The best track on the album may be O Come All Ye Faithful which starts out with a hip hop drum beat. It then breaks into an impressive version of the story told by electric guitar. It definitely brings the funk.
Other great tracks include Do You Hear What I Hear?, a horn driven Silent Night, and a version of Carol of the Bells that would be at home on a Moody Blues album.
All in all, really solid stuff here.