What Can You Get A Wookiee For Christmas (When He Already Owns A Comb?) I discovered this song in a library book I checked out while researching at the New York Library for the Performing Arts. What was so astounding to me about this song was that Maury Yeston, a very well respected musical theatre writer, wrote it! There has been (to my knowledge) only one other recorded version of this song, on the “Star Wars Christmas Album”. I purposely chose not to listen to that version because I immediately had some ideas for the song. I heard the barbershop style first, and the 50’s style came later when collaborating with Adam Walsh (my piano player and co-arranger). Me singing like Han Solo doing an Elvis imitation emerged during the recording session---just sort of “happened”. Finding someone to do the Wookiee was a challenge, but Mike Thompson, assistant engineer, came through for us. He called a friend from his band who did an imitation and had him come in. After one belch of Chewbacca, Tony Cisneros was hired. I am so happy to be able to bring a bit of my humor to this recording. As Han doing Elvis would say…….”Thank you, thank you very much.”
Just In Time For Christmas I acquired this song while looking for music at Colony Records in NYC. It was originally recorded by Nancy Lamott on her Christmas recording also entitled “Just In Time For Christmas”. I simply adore all of her recorded work, but am especially moved by the pieces written for her by David Friedman. My original idea for this song was to make it a rock ballad with some male and female back-ups. However, after hearing contemporary Christian singer Debbie Arnott as well as the quick vocal arrangement by Adam, I was completely sold on making it a duet. Now I can not hear it any other way!
The Christmas Song (Known to most as Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire) I came up with this arrangement for my ’98 Christmas concert. My intention was to change the style to something more upbeat and fun. So what I did was blend every beginning piano player’s favorite song “Heart and Soul” with the tune, giving it a sort of light jazz feel. Some killer sax licks by Carlos Juarez completes this song wonderfully.
O Holy Night This song is perfect as is and needed nothing added or changed, but still I couldn’t resist putting some male back-up voices in there to fill out the vocals. The trumpet solo was a great touch I felt, once again utilizing the unending talents of Adam Walsh!
It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year This rendition is my tribute to and imitation of the man with the whitest teeth in the music industry…..YES, of course, Mr. Johnny Mathis!
We Can Be Kind This is not a holiday song, but an EVERYDAY song. Beautifully written by David Friedman and originally recorded by Nancy Lamott, it has sort of been adopted by the organization Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids (BCEFA) as an un-official theme song. It simply reminds us of kindness and compassion and that “Deep down inside we all need the same thing.”…love.
The Little Drummer Boy This is my mother’s favorite Christmas song, and that is why I chose it. In this arrangement, what I heard first was the drum cadence that would play throughout. Then, with each verse I built the other parts around it. It is called “the Little Drummer Boy”-------the arrangement should be about the drums!
The Night Before Christmas Song I chose this song for my little brother and sister. And I sang it as if I was sitting on their bed, reading them the story on Christmas Eve. I was not familiar with this tune before the recording. It is truly another classic from famous Christmas songcrafter, Johnny Marks ( Rudolph).
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas The final song on the CD, this treasure has been done many times, many ways. I just wanted to do it simply.
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