NOTE: LORDS A LEAPING VOLUME II IS AVAILABLE ALSO! GO TO: www.cdbaby.com/lordsaleaping
Lords a Leaping Volume I 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. Volume II was recorded and released in 2004 and is also available on CD Baby. Volume III is currently in production and is set for release in 2007.
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!
A REVIEW OF VOLUME I FROM RICHARD BANKS OF CHRISTMASREVIEWS.COM
I knew right away that Lords a Leaping was not your usual plate of Christmas sweet 'taters when I heard Jennifer Bell's unusual retooling of O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, which boasts an all-new contemporary pop structure, melody and words. The CD continues in this vein--or in almost every vein--with old songs made new, and each performed in a somewhat different style from the last. There's Christmas Time Is Here, jazzeliciously sung ahead of the beat by Ms. Bell), there's fine, refined riffing on guitar on a rock solid instrumental Silent Night), and there's a 5-pack of moody holiday songs written by John Cimino and performed ably by Adam Bell and Jennifer Bell. There's the holiday-angstified Christmas Without You and Christmas Party. Later on there's Will You Come?, another song of loss, though a bit more hopeful as sung by Ms. Bell. Finally, there are the rocking Light A Candle and The Bells of Christmas. I like these two Adam Bell performances best. His voice is adapted better to a rock beat, in my opinion, than to James Taylorish wistful ballads. If I have to pick a favorite among the Cimino-penned songs, I'm picking The Bells of Christmas, a nice little rock holiday anthem.
Though there are only nine songs all told, every one is different from the others and integral to the whole. Cimino and his "Central Pennsylvania Artists" meld freewheeling creativity and musicianship into a cool Christmassy listening experience.
(Reviewed in 2006)