I’m listening to The Soulful Messiah for the first time – yes, I’m REALLY late! Oh Man!! What a glorious night of music and worship. It is commonly known that I do not care for other folks’ renditions or interpretations of standard classical music. And Handel’s Messiah is my all time absolute favorite piece and a work of sheer perfection. And yet…look at me rockin’ with it/leanin’ with it/laughing/crying and dancing to this incredibly imaginative, poignant and witty turn on famous baroque tunes – a fusion of Negro work songs, jazz, afro-Caribbean rhythms, with a dash of hip hop thrown in for good measure. On this, my snobby music critic will be quiet. Being open to something new has filled me with great joy this season. Arleen Auger versus Tramaine, Kathleen Battle versus Patti Austin – let them do battle, there are no losers. My soul is fed, my spirit is happy. It is Christmas.