Archive for November, 2010

2010 Holiday Arrangements #4

Here we have “The First Noel”.  I’m pretty pleased with how this has turned out. The present arrangement is actually version 2 of this concept, as a couple of years ago I made an arrangement and recording using the same basic idea.

However, this one is thinned down to fewer tracks, which I think works better, and also has more arrangement stuff in it — such as greater dynamic change, breaks, etc. Hopefully this makes it more interesting.

As has been the case this year, the arrangement is guitar, bass, keys and drums. I played the guitar and bass parts and programmed the others.

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November 27, 2010 at 12:17 pm Leave a comment

2010 Holiday Arrangements #3

Here we have “Good King Wenceslas”.  This is one of the simplest caroles, and my arrangement is similarly not elaborate. Basically I just went for a nice feel and pretty much left it at that.

Again, it’s guitar, bass, keys and drums with me playing the guitar & bass parts and programming the others.

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November 23, 2010 at 2:34 pm Leave a comment

2010 Holiday Arrangements #2

This is “Lo How a Rose E’er Blooming”, a hymn dating from 1609 and attributed to Michael Praetorius. A beautiful and simple melody, it has been a favorite since a college Christmas program in which I first heard it.

The arrangement is guitar, bass, keys and drums. As usual, I played the guitar and bass parts and programmed the others. The arrangement itself is intended to preserve the simple beauty of the carole.

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November 22, 2010 at 4:24 pm Leave a comment

Holiday Music Arrangements – 2010

Every year around this time I try to generate at least a couple new original arrangements of Christmas or other holiday songs. Typically each year’s arrangements are influenced by the style of music I’ve been emphasizing over that year. Last year I was in “trio” mode, and so the 2009 arrangements were all in that vein.

This year I am back into jazz-rock fusion, having released the album “Still Hungry” which is in that style. So my first (hopefully more will be forthcoming) arrangement for 2010 is a jazz/rock fusion version of “Oh Come Oh Come, Emmanuel”.

I’ve never worked much with this carole before, but have always liked it. It sounds like it is in a minor key — although it’s actually modal. Some think the melody might be 8th century Gregorian in origin. Whatever the case, it is a haunting melody and the modal character is a welcome change from other, overwhelmingly major-keyed, Christmas caroles.

My arrangement begins with a short classic-guitar introduction. The balance of the arrangement is a fusion quartet: guitar, bass, keys, and drums. As I usually do, I played the guitar and bass parts and “programmed” the others. Here are the links to listen:

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November 20, 2010 at 4:36 pm Leave a comment


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