Lords a Leaping | Volume II

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Bing Crosby Perry Como

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Jazz: Smooth Jazz Rock: Rockabilly Moods: Mood: Seasonal
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Volume II

by Lords a Leaping

A timeless collection of original Christmas music crafted by Central Pennsylvania artists, combining jazz, rock, and pop.
Genre: Jazz: Smooth Jazz
Release Date: 

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1. That Christmas Feeling Lords a Leaping
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2. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas Lords a Leaping
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3. Reconcile Lords a Leaping
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4. Child of Mary Lords a Leaping
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5. A Christmas to Remember Lords a Leaping
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6. Magical Lords a Leaping
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7. The Greatest Gift Lords a Leaping
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8. Santa Boogie Lords a Leaping
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9. Sailing Home Lords a Leaping
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10. Christmas is Near Lords a Leaping
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11. God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen Traditional English
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12. All Things Great and Small Lords a Leaping
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Album Notes

Lords a Leaping Volume II is a collection of original Christmas music written and performed by a group of songwriting friends in Central Pennsylvania. Songwriter John Cimino grew up listening to Christmas classics by Bing Crosby, Perry Como, and Mel Torme, and wanted to create "new classics" for this generation to enjoy. In 2002, Cimino teamed with drummer Michael Hughes, Pianist Brett Albert, and vocalists Adam and Jennifer Bell to record Volume I.
Lords a Leaping combines Jazz, Pop, and Rock with well-crafted lyrics and memorable melodies. The result is a diverse and refreshing array of holiday music that the whole family can enjoy.
Cimino's band, "Thunderbox," and Hughes' band "The Worry Knot" also have cd's available on CDBABY. Check them out!

(VARIOUS ARTISTS) – LORDS A LEAPING VOLUME II (no label) Two years ago, several musicians from Centre and Clearfield Counties collaborated on a Christmas project called Lords a Leaping, with the idea of creating Christmas songs that might someday become part of the catalog of songs we hear every holiday season. The group recorded the first Lords a Leaping album, and quickly sold out of the 600 copies they produced. That success, combined with more inspiration and ideas to create Christmas music, brought these musicians back together for a sequel. Lords a Leaping Volume II features a dozen songs, including ten original Christmas compositions and two interpretations of Christmas favorites. Like the first album, this album also features a wide variety of musical styles, spanning traditional to big band jazz to rock, folk and more. Seven of the songs are written by Loudmouth singer/bassist John Cimino, who also sings, plays bass and guitar. Among John’s contributions are the tender and reminiscent “That Christmas Feeling” and “Magical,” both sung by Jennifer Bell; “Child of Mary” with its varying textures to depict the stages of Christ’s life; “Santa Boogie” with its big band, Andrews Sisters feel; an English-flavored sea carol, “Sailing Home;” the garage-rocking “Christmas Is Near;” and the hopeful album closer “All Things Great and Small,” featuring backing vocals from the New Life Tabernacle Choir from Greensburg. Dive singer/guitarist Adam Bell contributes two songs, the uplifting love song “Reconcile” and the ballad “A Christmas to Remember.” Acoustic roots music duo Blind Jonny Death also contribute a song, the folksy “The Greatest Gift.” Also included are two established holiday favorites, a piano jazz-flavored rendition of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and an atmospheric rock update of “God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen.” Recorded this past October at Philipsburg-Osceola Area Junior High School; and recorded, mixed and mastered by John Wagoner, Lords a Leaping Volume II is another stellar effort. The vocal performances sound hearfelt and inspired, and shine throughout the album. The instrumentation is well coordinated, from John Wagoner’s and Adam Bell’s electric and acoustic guitar flavors to Brett Albert’s warm piano sound, Kevin Roessner’s tasteful trumpet and Michael Hughes’ varying drum textures. John Wagoner’s arrangements masterfully conjure the perfect mood and effect on each song, from the Charlie Brown Christmas-like feeling of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” to the escalating arrangement of “God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen.” Lords a Leaping Volume II picks up where the first Lords a Leaping left off two years ago, and the result is another fine set of fresh-sounding holiday music to trim the tree to. If this ensemble of local musicians continue to create Christmas music as appealing and compelling as these first two albums, it might be only a matter of time before Lords a Leaping is spoken in the same breath as present-day Christmas music icons like Mannheim Steamroller and Trans Siberian Orchestra. Lords a Leaping Volume II is that good. (The album can be purchased at select stores in Clearfield and Centre Counties.)


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Here was my annonomous note card that went along with the CD that was fed-exed overnight. "3 years ago right after my girls dad moved out some group gifted us the 12 days of Christmas. This year we were asked to leave the Lords of Leaping Basket on another womans door. Not an easy one-But, Google brought me right to hear this music and review. Certain this was a UK band, I called friends then emailed. The leader of the group emailed me right back...he was in my own state! This is providence at its best, I told everyone". She cried at the basket filled with cutout garland of leaping lords for her tree and a toad to practice kissing again. The CD was her girls favorite gift of the season. I await thier concert schedule, hoping to take this whole group of special women!

Carol Swanson

Original Christmas music...a humdinger!
Here is something creative and fun for the holidays. Lords a Leaping: Volume II is an eclectic group of largely original tunes penned and performed by a group of talented musician pals in Central Pennsylvania. First, let me address those thorny questions that you are dying to ask. Yes, there was a Volume I (recorded in 2002 by essentially the same group). No, Volume I is no longer available. Yes, you should be very pleased that Volume II IS available, and it is a humdinger.

John Cimino (singer, songwriter, guitar & bass) appears to be the moving force behind these folks; he's the bassist for the nationally-recognized One Less Tear band (find out more at www.onelesstear.com). His excellent support includes drummer Michael Hughes, keyboards man Brett Albert, trumpeter Kevin Roessner, and vocalists Adam and Jennifer Bell. For good measure, these leaping lords throw in the New Life Tabernacle Choir (from Greensburg, PA).

So do you like rock music? Pop? Jazz? Country? Well, good! Because there's a little bit of everything on this fascinating album, and it is all done well. Of the dozen cuts, only two are inventive arrangements of traditional Christmas classics ("Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and "God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen"). Almost everything else flows from the fresh and fantastic mind of Cimino (7 tracks)(Adam Bell contributes 2 new numbers). This album is honestly all over the map, but the topography is always compelling. The holiday rock anthems here include Cimino's "Christmas Is Near" and Jennifer Bell's haunting vocal on "God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen." The opening "That Christmas Feeling" is pure pop--upbeat and sweetly memorable. Jazzy sentiments ooze from "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." Adam Bell's catchy "Reconcile" is a folk/rock treasure. "The Greatest Gift" is a gritty country number about Christmas Day, founded upon great guitar and bass support.

My favorite numbers? They are Cimino's jumpin' "Santa Boogie," which is a swingin' piece of jazz with big band harmonies, and his "Magical" with precious lyrics and Jennifer Bell's heartrending vocal.

If you haven't been through Central Pennsylvania in a few years, driving those lonely and endless miles along I-80, imagine that you are heading through that lovely (though somewhat isolated) area, and you have cranked your car windows down (of course, we almost never literally "crank" anymore; it's all at the press of a button). That wonderful, distinctive, and very creative sound rising from the hills emanates from the leaping lords, and their Volume II is excellent compensation for your trip. Enjoy!

--Carol Swanson
(Reviewed in 2005)