Holy Night

Christmas carols are perfomed by the ChurchJazz band and singers Joanie Pallatto and Kari Nelson, along with special guests Adolph “Bud” Herseth, principal trumpeter of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Michael Mulcahy, Ronnie Kolber and Pat Mallinger.

Christmas: the celebration of God’s gift of love to us.

Music: the ethereal force which connects with our spirits and our bodies.

Christmas Music: a wonderfully diverse outpouring of joy, tenderness and wonder.

This recording incorporates the gifts of five arrangers, each with a beautiful appreciation of Christmas Music. From the opening moments of O Holy Night to the last notes of Silent Night, you will experience a journey filled with surprising flashes of color and a quiet contemplation of the mystery of God breaking into our realm in the form of an infant.

The musicians on this album are among the leading artists in both the jazz and classical worlds. Our special guests include Adolph (“Bud”) Herseth, who was the principal trumpet player for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for more than 50 years. Michael Mulcahy, principal trombone player for the CSO joins Bud,  Bobby Lewis and Rex Martin on tuba (formerly with the CSO) to form the brass quartet for Good Christian Friends Rejoice.  Bud is also featured in a trumpet duet with Bobby Lewis in Before the Marvel of this Night.

Joanie Pallatto, the principal vocal soloist, is a leading jazz singer, studio musician, studio owner, engineer and producer. Joanie has been the featured artist on many CDs on the Southport label, which she owns with her husband, Bradley Parker-Sparrow, available at www.chicagosound.com .  Kari Nelson graciously agreed to travel from Los Angeles to record the soprano solo on Before the Marvel of this Night.  Our special guests include Pat Mallinger and Ronnie Kolber, two of Chicago’s leading sax players.

The core musicians of the ChurchJazz Band on this recording include  Bobby Lewis, Bobby Schiff, Ken Jandes, John Whitfield, Jerry Coleman, Andy Tecson and Nancy Hagen. Luke Hagen Tecson joins on violin.

1. O Holy Night, Arr. © 2002 R. Schiff.

The combination of Bobby Schiff’s compositional skills and Joanie Pallatto’s interpretive and vocal skills results in a rendition of O Holy Night which shines with reverence and wonder.

2. Go Tell It on the  Mountain, Arr. 2002 A. Tecson

Bobby Lewis and Bobby Schiff contribute solos over a swinging underpinning from the rhythm section, while the choir sings the Good News.

3. Before the Marvel of this Night. Tune and Choral arrangements by Carl Schalk. Arr. 2002 R. Schiff.

Bobby Schiff wrote the accompaniment by the two trumpets and the trumpet interlude between the second and third verses, played with warmth and brilliance by Bud Herseth and Bobby Lewis. Kari Nelson and Bobby Lewis sing beautifully, both individually and in a duet.

4. Angels We Have Heard on High. Arr. 2003 A. Tecson

This tune is an all out celebration, kicked off with Ronnie Kolber’s joyful baritone sax solo. Pat Mallinger shows what those angels on Christmas Eve who play alto sax must have sounded like. John Whitfield’s bass solo and Jerry Coleman’s drum solo express the excitement that the shepherds must have felt.

5. What Child is This. Arr. 2002, A. Tecson. Arr. of chords and scat duet, Anne Phillips

It seems fitting that this piece should open with a duet between mother and son, with Luke Hagen Tecson’s violin joining Nancy Hagen’s oboe. Joannie Pallatto brings a mother’s tenderness to the verse, and gives us a beautiful scat solo. Ken Jandes contributes a celestial sax solo. The scat duet between Joanie and Andy Tecson is taken from Christmas pagent, Bending Towards the Light.

6. Good Christian Friends Rejoice Arr. 2003 A. Tecson

The jubilant brass quartet,  led by Bud Herseth, frames the joyful call and response between Bud and Bobby Lewis. Soon a saxophone  quartet provides a jazzy reply. By the end of the piece, there’s a whole lot of rejoicing going on.

7. Of the Father’s Love Begotten. Arr. 2002 A. Tecson

This tune from the 13th century echoes God’s presence before the world existed. This song slowly blossoms from a single point of light, with each verse adding to the strength and brilliance reflecting God’s love for us all. Andy, Joanie, Luke, Bobby Lewis and Bobby Schiff each reveal a different facet of emotion in their solos.

8. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.  Arr. 2002 R. Lewis

This arrangement showcases Bobby Lewis’ fine ear for mixing classical fugues with jazz improvisation. Joanie Pallatto cuts loose with a delightful swinging verse and scat chorus.

9. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear  Arr. 2002 R. Lewis

Ken Jandes’ alto sax solo gets down to the basics of emotion and melody, and Bobby Schiff hits all the blues notes on the keyboard.

10. A Child is Born Arr. 2002 R.Lewis.

This song showcases wonder and awe of  new life, expressed by Nancy Hagen’s statement of the theme, and the improvisations of Bobby Lewis on flugelhorn and Bobby Schiff on piano.

11. The Little Drummer Boy  Arr. 2002 J. Coleman

Jerry’s drum work, both in his solos and as part of the rhythm section, keeps the band soaring. This piece illustrates a wide variety of textures, moving from a unison statement of the theme into a free jazz section, and ending with a swinging big band sound.

12. Lo How a Rose is Blooming Arr. 2002 K. Jandes

Ken’s arrangement has a renaissance feel to it, reflecting the fact that the tune dates from 1599. Joanie transcends centuries, mixing the ancient with the contemporary in her singing.

13. The First Noel  Arr. 2002 A.Tecson

This arrangement illustrates how traditional hymn tunes sung by a congregation can easily be adopted for jazz accompaniment.

14. Joy to the World Arr. 2002 K. Jandes

This tune is made for pulling all the stops, and the band churns out a gospel beat deeply rooted in its Chicago roots.

15. Silent Night  Arr. 2003 R. Schiff

This one’s from the heart. With no notice, no planning, and no second takes, Bobby Schiff responded to a request in the studio at the end of a session that he record a solo piano version of this classic. Bobby’s gift to us is a perfect way to end the album, sending us forth in peace, redeemed with grace.

Track List
1. O Holy Night

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

2. Go Tell It on the Mountain

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

3. Before the Marvel of this Night

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

4. Angels We Have Heard on High

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

5. What Child Is This?

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

6. Good Christian Friends Rejoice

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

7. Of the Father’s Love Begotten

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

8. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

9. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

10. A Child Is Born

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

11. The Little Drummer Boy

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

12. Lo How a Rose is Blooming

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

13. The First Noel

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

14. Joy to the World

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

15. Silent Night

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.