It Must Have Been the Mistletoe
Anyone who knows me, knows that I am obsessed with Christmas. In part, it is because my birthday is two weeks before Christmas, so I celebrate ME during the entire month of December!
After recording my second CD in 2021, Heart Songs: An American Medley, I knew that my next musical project had to be a Christmas album. But I wanted it to be special – something new and unexpected.
And that is when I reached out to Sean Harkness.
I have been in awe of Sean’s talent since I heard him for the first time in 2019 in a cabaret club in New York City. And when we worked together on Heart Songs, I told him that we were going to do a Christmas album together.
(He had no choice in the matter!)
There is a collection of jazz arrangements for piano of Christmas tunes called Santa Ma-Jazz that I pull out every year to play at the holidays. I played some of these arrangements for Sean as “inspiration” of what I wanted the vibe of the album to be. I was delighted when Sean said, “I’m your guy!”
This album is filled with some traditional carols, holiday classics and some lesser-known ditties. There are sacred favorites and jazz standards, a medley of music from children’s classic shows, an homage to my father who often played the horse whinny at the end of “Sleigh Ride” in his orchestra concerts….and more. But the arrangements will surprise and delight and I couldn’t be more thrilled with how it turned out!
Have yourself a merry little Christmas!
(even though that song isn’t on the album)
Sean Harkness (guitar), Raymond Cetta (bass), Michael O’Brien (bass), Mike Lunoe (drum set/percussion)
Recorded in June 2022 at Oktaven Audio, LLC in Mount Vernon, NY. Engineered, edited, and mixed by Ryan Streber. Mastered by Roger Lian.
Graphic Design by Helane Blumfield Photography.
Sleigh Ride - Leroy Anderson and Mitchell Parish
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen - Traditional English Carol
Welcome Christmas/Christmas Time is Here/My Favorite Things - Albert Hague/Theodore Geisel/Vince Guaraldi/Lee Mendelson/Richard Rodgers/Oscar Hammerstein
The First Noel/Silent Night - Traditional English Carol/Franz Gruber/John Freeman Young/Joseph Mohr
Angels We Have Heard on High - Traditional French Carol
The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) - Mel Tormé and Robert Wells
Home (When Shadows Fall)/I'll be Home for Christmas - Harry Clarkson/Geoffrey Clarkson/Peter Van Steeden/Walter Kent/Kim Gannon/Buck Ram
A Christmas Love Song - Marilyn Bergman/Alan Bergman/Johnny Mandel
What Child is This/O Holy Night - Traditional English Carol/William Chatterson Dix/Traditional French Carol/John Sullivan Dwight/Adolphe Charles Adam
What Are You Doing New Year's Eve - Frank Loesser
It Must Have Been the istletoe - Justin Wilde/Doug Konecky
Christmas Time of Year - Joe Cocuzzo/Torrie Zito