Artist Worth Checking Out: Lisa Ono Says Feliz Natal


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Born July 29, 1962 in Sao Paolo, Lisa Ono splits her time between Brazil and her family’s homeland in Japan.

By the time she turned 15, she began to learn to play the guitar.  Nearly a dozen albums later (with Dream and Pretty World being the big sellers), my first entry of the Brazilian Christmas CD selections is a spiffy pop entry, especially getting to hear and read the Japanese lyrics.

Albeit it took me two years and half a world to find my copy (some bookstore in Germany fortunately had a copy back in June 2015 at a reasonable price), please don’t be taken aback by her English singing.  I found that each song she sings features very light tones throughout the acoustic guitars on each carol.  It is quite the opposite with the more dramatic orchestral effects heard on the wildly popular Amy Grant album Home For Christmas which was released the year before Boas Festas.

From “Winter Wonderland” to “Let It Snow”, “Jingle Bell Rock” and “Paz Azul” (which almost sounds lyrically like the lullaby song moms sing to their kids before tucking them to bed each night), this album labelled as a Winter Bossa album definitely ranks right up there with Halie Loren’s cool album, Lori Meachem’s near duplication of the Vince Guaraldi Trio’s  A Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack and the Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66 number on “The Christmas Song”.

The album is very pleasant and an excellent listen, definitely feels like a nice album to unwind to after a long day of baking your favorite holiday treats.  This album is also definite holiday party material if the crowd does not feel like really going all out and just letting things stay chilled through the night.

And yes, she has continued to do more Brazilian albums even while raising two children of her own.  Wikipedia has her credited with doing 22 albums to date, the last one during the first full year after the financial recession in 2009 featuring  jazz standards from both Rio and Los Angeles.

Next week, you will get to read a two-fer from the same artist.  Vinnie Zummo did his holiday compilations over a decade apart.  I will note the key similarities and differences from each album once I get a bit of time separate from the hectic times currently taking place with my other blog in covering NCAA men’s college basketball.
Enjoy your weekend, and please try to pick up a copy online of this holiday album when you get the chance.


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