The James Bazen Big Band
Merry Christmas Take One

The Tunes

Sleigh Ride:
A happy-go-lucky Latin arrangement by Dave Wolpe. It features bright orchestration and a fat tenor solo by Jeff Gray.

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas:
An arrangement by James Bazen that starts with a warm, velvety clarinet solo then develops into a bright Bossa Nova with Christina Crerar on vocals.

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen:
A "west coast" style arrangement by James Bazen. Acoustic bass states the melody up front and then the trombone section kicks in - eventually becoming an intricate Bach-like interplay for trombone, trumpet and alto sax. Very cool solos by James Bazen on alto, Jerry O'Sullivan on trombone and Jeff Gray on tenor.

White Christmas:
Christina Crerar sings this Irving Berlin classic. This is a very danceable arrangement by Roger Holmes. Trumpeter Kyle Funn swings his way through a hot solo.

Silent Night:
A unique arrangement by James Bazen with a little bit for everyone. It starts out with the traditional brass quartet which gives way to a bouncy 1960's rock and roll beat. Wailing blues organ by Larry Brown! Raucous tenor sax solo by Jeff Gray! Screaming guitar solo by Leonard Stevens! Who could ask for more?

My Favorite Things:
Patty McKay sings this aggressive jazz standard arranged by James Bazen. It features a dialogue between soprano sax and vocals similar in style to Cleo Lane and John Dankworth.

Christmas Time Is Here:
This arrangement by David Blackstone captures the beauty and innocence of "A Charlie Brown Christmas." Kyle Funn (trumpet) and Larry Brown (no relation to Charlie!) on piano have some quality play time.

O Christmas Tree:
A swinging Bazen arrangement of a Christmas favorite. The coy vocals by Christina Crerar set this up as a light-hearted romp. Larry Brown, Don Lerman (bari) and Robert Wagner (bass) put in their own whimsical 2 cents worth as well.

The Christmas Song:
Paul Jennings' beautiful arrangement of "the Christmas song to end all Christmas songs" takes full advantage of the band's lush, tender side.

Let It Snow:
Another "swinging little number" from Roger Holmes perfectly executed by Christina Crerar's vocals. "I give it a ten - it's got a great beat and you can dance to it!"

Silver Bells:
Halley Shoenberg shows she has what it takes in the arranging department. This tune is transformed from and ordinary holiday ditty to a groovy jazz waltz sung by Christina Crerar. Check out Mike Davis' agile muted trumpet solo!

Jesus Loves Me:
James Bazen's intensely emotional rendition of this children's tune. Calming brass and haunting solos by pianist Larry Brown, trumpeter Kyle Funn and saxist Halley Shoenberg will touch even the most cynical listener.

The "Spirit" Of Christmas Present:
Originally released as "The Funky Little Drummer Boy" this hard-edged arrangement by James Bazen takes on a new meaning as stated in the liner notes:

The holidays are a time of peace, joy and good will toward men. But is the true spirit of Christmas present really a cacophony of stress, commercialism, depression and violence?

Most of these arrangements for big band are available for purchase from Music Unlimited.

They are professionally laid out using Finale notation software and include a bound conductor's score. For more information go to the cyber-store.

James Bazen is also available to arrange tunes for your band or orchestra. Call (301)948-5419 or e-mail James Bazen for rates.