Aside from the ridiculous cover—I mean, come on: between the blighted greenery in the background to the funkytown tux in the sleigh, I’m glad Ray was spared the sight of this artwork—this album is a tonic for most holiday-music excesses.
Esquivel tests the concentration of the Skip-Jacks with his ADD arrangement of the Gene Autry classic. I’m not sure how his theological positions (“Santa Claus knows we’re all Gods children”; “So lets give thanks to the lord above / That Santa Claus comes tonight!”) hold up to scrutiny: that’s a message as mixed as Esquivel’s sonic palette.
“Disco,” yes— but I’m sure how “special” this is, yet not even the Memphis Sounds Orchestra can stomp the life out of the Leroy Anderson classic. I especially like the line of boogie-ing Santas on the cover—no doubt carrying sacks full of Qiana and double knit.