Saturday, December 18, 2010

Gifts & Wishes: We Three Kings of Orient Are

Gregg Miner: We Three Kings of Orient Are


Of course the three kings are the original Christmas gift givers. But it seems odd that the three kings/wise men would travel all the way from the Far East and still get there in time to see the Baby Jesus while he was still a baby, until you realize that the term "the Orient" used to refer to what we now call the Mid-East. As the Europeans' knowledge of Asia expanded, so did the meaning of the word.

And so multi-instrumentalist Gregg Miner gives the song an appropriately Middle-Eastern feel, with the oboe, the Egyptian oud and the Turkish saz leading the way. Gregg released two wonderful instrumental Christmas albums that are essential for anyone with a fetish for unique instruments. His collection of mostly stringed instruments (from "The Miner Museum of Vintage, Exotic, and Just Plain Unusual Musical Instruments") is only surpassed by his ability to play them all. This is the guy I always wanted to be. And the beautiful booklets that accompanies the two CDs are pure instrument porn for someone like me.

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