With Sean Harkness, Raymond Cetta, Michael O’Brien, and Mike Lunoe
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!
With Raymond Cetta and Michael O’Brien on bass and Mike Lunoe on Drums
1. Sleigh Ride
2. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
3. Welcome Christmas/Christmas Time is Here/My Favorite Things
4. The First Noel/Silent Night
5. Angels We Have Heard on High
6. The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)
7. Home (When Shadows Fall)/I’ll Be Home for Christmas
8. A Christmas Love Song
9. What Child is This/O Holy Night
10. What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?
11. It Must Have Been The Mistletoe
12. Christmas Time of Year