My new Christmas album called Bones, Bells, and Angels
In each of the past ten years, I have written and recorded a Christmas carol. For all except this year’s arrangement of Silent Night, they were featuring trombone or multiple overdubbed trombones. This year, I created Silent Night and instead of featuring trombone, I gave myself an excuse to work on my more symphonic orchestration. Therefore, you’ll have to wait until the very end to hear any trombone.
I always try something new on each piece–maybe a new instrument or a new musical feel or beat. It was usually a several week-long grind but it was one I always enjoy.
Three years ago, I asked jazz great Richie Beirach if he would reharmonize Angels We have Heard on High. He enthusiastically agreed and you can hear the five trombone arrangement of that in the last section of the piece.
The next year, I feared I might be pressing my luck by asking Richie to reharmonize O Christmas Tree. After a friendly ‘oy vey’, he worked his magic, and it came out great. This year, Richie gave me his harmony for Silent Night, and even though I strayed a bit from his complex chords, his harmony was an inspiration and a challenge to tease out of an orchestra.
Along the way, I have created videos for pieces. Below are three videos you might enjoy. And below those is the complete track list of each full piece. That’s the whole album.
I hope you enjoy these somewhat strange treatments of favorite carols, and that they add a dash of enjoyment to your 2023 holiday season!