We might have heard something like this — a medley of “Good King Wenceslas” and “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”
Here we have the third new recording of the 2014 holiday season, the traditional carol “Angels We Have Heard on High”. I’ve given it a jazz-samba treatment.
So this is the second new recording of the 2014 holiday season, the traditional carol “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”.
This arrangement is similar to one I did a few years ago, but this one adds a piano part and an extended solo section. The basic feel is sort of a 1960’s light jazz vibe owing quite a bit to Wes Montgomery..
Every year I try to make at least one or two new arrangements of holiday music. This first one this year is a smooth-jazz version of Donny Hathaway’s “This Christmas”.
Lots of folks try to write new holiday songs, but not many catch on. Originally released as an Atco single in 1970, “This Christmas” is one that has become something of a modern holiday standard, covered by a wide range of artists, including Diana Ross, Gladys Knight, The Temptations, Gloria Estefan, Usher, Boney James, Harry Connick, and Michael McDonald.
Donny Hathaway’s personal story is a sad one. At the height of his career, Hathaway was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. On January 13, 1979, Hathaway’s body was found outside the luxury hotel Essex House in New York City; his death was ruled a suicide.
Not one to play favorites, I thought I’d make a new and more faithful arrangement of the Venture’s 1960 hit “Perfidia”. The difference between this and my prior versions is this one includes a rhythm guitar part.
I am a huge fan of the 60’s British instrumental band The Shadows. Led by Hank Marvin, they arguably make the Ventures sound like a 3rd rate garage band by comparison. And I really love the Ventures. It’s really a shame that so few Americans knew of them.
Theme for Young Lovers is one of their hits, written by their rhythm guitarist, Bruce Welch.
For this recording I played everything except for programming the drum track.
Pat Metheny is one of the guitarists and musicians that I hold in the highest regard. Besides being a great player and leader, he is one of jazz’ greatest composers as well. Bright Size Life is the title track of his debut album, released in 1976 on ECM, when Metheny was only 21. The album features Jaco Pastorius on bass.
I’ve recorded and released this composition before, but thought I’d take another crack at it in a quartet format. Mainly I just wanted to create some new backing tracks for myself so that I could play it more regularly.