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Why I love Christmas
Why do I love Christmas? Christmas for me is many things. What comes to mind first is the wonderful memories I have of Christmas as a child. Mom and Dad made the holiday very special for my sister Gail and I. Christmas was about wrapping presents, getting the decorations down from the attic, preparing for the Christmas Pageant play at church, hoping for snow, loving it when it did!...lighting candles on our Advent wreath each Sunday leading up to Christmas, putting up the tree, and on and on. And all these Christmas traditions and memories have the soundtrack of Christmas music surrounding them.
We had many Christmas albums in the Collins house. They included all the favorites many of us from the 60’s and 70’s era remember and still love today. Crosby, Cole, Sinatra, Como, Streisand, …plus many, many more, some being instrumental recordings.
So as I selected the songs for this recording, I had all these emotions, thoughts, memories and tunes swirling in my head. Keeping in mind I wanted this project to be piano driven with no accompanying background vocals, I compiled a list of 30 or more possible songs to do. I picked four favorites and started with those in December, 2015. Early in 2016, I selected four more, recorded those…and cut the final tracks (totaling eleven) in early Spring of 2016. I feel like it’s an attractive variety of song tempos and styles. There’s a mix of big band style, full orchestra, pop brass, and strings on ten of the eleven songs. Fellow musicians and friends David Johnson and Jeremy Medkiff on electric and acoustic guitar, Tony Creasman on drums and percussion, Tim Surrett and Roger Fortner on upright bass, Jason Webb on Hammond B3, and myself on piano and keyboards, make up the band for the basic tracks. Recording engineers Scott Barnett and Van Atkins captured the music that gave arranger Cody McVey a foundation to create his orchestra arrangements around. Cody also fully arranged two of the tunes; The Medley (Hark! The Herald Angels Sing/O Come All Ye Faithful/Joy To The World) and Carol Of The Bells. Cody wrote the big band/strings/brass/orchestral scores and really brought the project to life!
Once the orchestrations were completed, Scott Barnett brought all these elements together in what I feel is an excellent mix of the recording.
So here it is. What is it? The Music of Christmas in an instrumental form. I hope it makes you ‘feel’ Christmassy, makes you think of decorating the tree, sledding in the snow, waking up on Christmas morning so excited to see what Santa had delivered (hopefully!). I hope it reminds you of the Reason for the Season, the birth of Jesus Christ. I hope it makes you want to be the people you love and cherish…and to think of good, warm, happy times. And hope you enjoy it. It’s why I love Christmas.