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Monday, December 05, 2011

Carla Bley - Carla's Christmas Carols (Berlin 2008)

I posted this one two years ago... so here it is again, right in time for x-mas. Must be the most idiosyncratic versions ever done of Christmas Carols - gotta love it!

Her carols have also been released officially on ECM - the review by John Fordham in the Guardian is still out there - and I've gotten the CD in the meantime and enjoy it a lot!

Carla Bley Plays Christmas Carols
Berlin (Germany), Passionskirche
December 4, 2008 (MP2)

Carla Bley - piano, arrangements, leader
Steve Swallow - bass
Tobias Weidinger - trumpet, Glockenspiel
Axel Schlosser - trumpet
Christine Chapman - french horn
Adrian Mears - trombone
Ed Partyka - bass trombone, tuba

1. O Tannenbaum (2:23)
2. Silent Night And Day (8:35)
3. Jingle Bells (3:22)
4. The Christmas Song (5:25)
5. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (5:35)
6. O Holy Night - Joy To The World (8:29)
7. God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen (9:46)
8. O Come To Bethlehem, All Ye Faithful (5:53)

TT: 49:28

Sound: A
Source: DVB-S@320, 48kHz > raw data > ProjextX > mp3DirectCut > mp2
(lossy recording seeded in its original broadcast codec)


A Piano Jazz Christmas (1994)

Yes, it's that time already again... I recommend you get June Christy's fine album This Time of Year if you want to hear something strong and personal. There's also Carla Bley's Carla's Christmas Carols (I'd be happy to bring back up the live recording I've shared of this - just put in a comment).

Those might be my favorites in the rare, very rare cases I want to hear Christmas music. I do have the Dylan disc and give it two or three spins I guess, but no Bing and Ol' Blue Eyes for me, please.

Marian McPartland's "Piano Jazz" show seems to be the longest-running radio show... and a wonderful one at that. Three albums of Christmas music have been released, but to my best of understanding, none of the music from the broadcast below has been officially released. Marian herself isn't part of the show, instead Bill Cosby is the host. There are several fine piano players involved, including the late Hilton Ruiz and the great Randy Weston, as well as Shirley Scott, Cedar Walton and younger players Michael Weiss and Cyrus Chestnut.

I've re-tracked this version (thanks go out to the kind dimer who put this out initially!), fixing some minor track-mark issues. As it is now, if you prefer to omit all the Cosby chatter (I for one most certainly do), you can just delete those tracks and the rest will be nicely programmed (a bit of talk remains, as Randy Weston introduces one of his tunes while playing piano underneath).

I hope you'll enjoy, and I wish those of who care a happy holiday season.

A Piano Jazz Christmas
Philadelphia, PA (USA)
December 14, 1994 (NPR)

Michael Weiss - piano (#2)
Shirley Scott - piano (#4, 13)
Cedar Walton - piano (#6, 17)
Cyrus Chestnut - piano (#7, 12)
Hilton Ruiz - piano (#9)
Randy Weston - piano (#10, 15)

host: Bill Cosby

01. Introduction by Bill Cosby (1:24)
02. MICHAEL WEISS: Winter Wonderland (Richard B. Smith-Felix Bernard) 4:11
03. Announcement by Bill Cosby (1:01)
04. SHIRLEY SCOTT: Bring a Torch, Jeanette Isabella (16c Trad. from France) 4:13
05. Announcement by Bill Cosby (1:05)
06. CEDAR WALTON: It Came Upon a Midnight Clear (Edmund Sears) 3:45
07. CYRUS CHESTNUT: O' Come, All Ye Faithful (John Francis Wade) 4:28
08. Announcement by Bill Cosby (1:32)
09. HILTON RUIZ: Deck the Halls (Trad. from Wales) 6:22
10. Announcement by Bill Cosby (0:14)
11. RANDY WESTON: The Children's Icicle Song (Randy Weston) 5:17
12. Announcement by Bill Cosby (1:53)
13. CYRUS CHESTNUT: The Christmas Song (Mel Tormé-Bob Wells) 4:37
14. SHIRLEY SCOTT: Infant Jesus (Shirley Scott) 4:09
15. Announcement by Bill Cosby (0:27)
16. RANDY WESTON: Prayer for Us (Randy Weston) 4:40
17. Announcement by Bill Cosby (1:20)
18. CEDAR WALTON: Silent Night (Joseph Mohr-Franz Xaver Gruber) 5:10
19. Closing Announcement by Bill Cosby (0:06)

TT: 56:03

Source: radio, transfered from a defected cassette. I don't know of any good sources.
Sound: Tracks 1-4 B+/4-18 A.

:: ubu edits ::

retracked (fixed early & late marks)
separated announcement from beginning of #10

FLAC > TLH > Cool Edit Pro > TLH (8,sb fixed) > FLAC