Mark Sorrells | December Night

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Classical: Contemporary Jazz: Free Jazz Moods: Featuring Piano
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December Night

by Mark Sorrells

A Collection of Christmas carols, performed on piano by Mark Sorrells. Some are traditional, Some classical. Many of them have put on a George Winston coat and muffler, while others wear a few New Orleans Mardi Gras beads.
Genre: Classical: Contemporary
Release Date: 

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1. Angels We Have Heard on High
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2:16 $0.99
2. December Night / What Child Is This?
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3:36 $0.99
3. Dark Clouds Parting / Hark, The Herald Angels Sing
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3:29 $0.99
4. White Christmas
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4:13 $0.99
5. God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen
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1:47 $0.99
6. Silent Night
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3:39 $0.99
7. Good King Wenceslas
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2:28 $0.99
8. Jingle Bells
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1:46 $0.99
9. Tennessee Christmas
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3:21 $0.99
10. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
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1:11 $0.99
11. O Tannenbaum
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1:55 $0.99
12. Praise to the King
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2:28 $0.99
13. Little Drummer Boy
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4:02 $0.99
14. Do You Hear What I Hear?
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2:26 $0.99
15. We Three Kings
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2:19 $0.99
16. Winter Wonderland
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2:41 $0.99
17. Carol of the Bells
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2:12 $0.99
18. What Child Is This?
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2:40 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
A Collection of Christmas carols,
performed on piano by Mark Sorrells.

Merry Christmas!

One frosty December night when I was a boy, my family began to hear a bustle outside. When my father opened the door, there were carolers at our bottom step. We all crowded forward, undaunted by the wintry chill, as carolers sang “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” and “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.” Indelible memories, etched in my childhood. I can still feel the fresh, icy Texas air and remember the joy and wonder in our neighbors’ musical gift of the season.

My first piano teacher was Dennis Dalton, a gifted pre-med student at Baylor University, who lived in the home of an older lady who also taught piano. Quickly, I was led into learning the old English carol “Good King Wenceslas.” I remember sitting in the foyer of her antique home, listening to the student working on carols before me, enjoying the sights and smells of the spruce Christmas tree, colored lights & candy, and being warmed by the yellow and blue hissing of the gas heater. How I wish I still owned that old golden book of beginner’s carols.

For years now, I’ve been fortunate to have played Christmas music. Some seasons, it was at an old tick-tack upright in Abilene, Texas; others in a cozy 1880’s vintage café in Bowling Green, Kentucky. For more than fifteen years, I enjoyed playing in Nashville’s upscale McClure’s department store, soothing frayed shoppers’ nerves, hopefully encouraging peace on earth and good will toward men, and musically reminding us all of the beauty and meaning woven deep within the hustle.

I hope you will find warmth and joy in these songs. Some are traditional. Some of them have put on a George Winston coat and muffler, and others wear a few New Orleans Mardi Gras beads. My best mode is improv, as the spirit moves me. While you may be caught by a mischievous snowball or two, I hope you will sense my wink and a smile under the mistletoe, know that all is well, and feel the kind, knowing grace and joy of the Divine Child, living within us all.

My Christmas Card, to you with Love,
Mark


My Thanks to You!

I want to thank the following, who have helped birth this recording.

Jimmy and Helen Sorrells, my dad & mom, for diving into life with great courage, for sharing their love, joy and courage with Steve, Sharon and me, and for building a home and memories that continue to nurture, strengthen, heal and move our world. Sharon and Steve and your wonderful families, for your love, joy, encouragement and steadfastness!

James Newell, for encouraging me, by love, wisdom and example, to become all of whom I can be. Bedford Combs, for modeling amazing love and grace, with gentleness, skill and strength. Cyndy Knox, for helping me clarify, for believing in my best, and for carrying my CD all year in your car. I can feel these things, you know!

Suzy and Tookie, for your love, encouragement and rave reviews when this project was just opening its eyes. Ann Ridley, for your friendship, comfort and for loving the music. Lindy Dunn, for your inspiration, and for awakening me through your gorgeous spirit.

Dave Dunseath and Gene Ford, for being good men I can admire, depend upon and share a fine round of Sam Adams with, in the joys of pursuing our arts and craftsmanship. You guys continue to inspire and amaze me on a weekly basis, and you have changed my life. I am truly grateful to you!

Bobby & Pam Chilton, Michael Johnson, Mark Rubin, Wade Wisdom, Raine Austen, for becoming part of my family at the Brasserie. Geoff & Becky Thurman, Lisa Van Wye, Randy Cox and Dorothy McKamie, for helping me along the way become the musician I have wanted to be. Rick Day, Hank Maddux, Edith Strickland, Harold & Carol Straughn and Debi Holliday, for encouraging me to pursue my musical desires! Adam Hatley for excellent engineering and friendship.

Kit Reuther, for being a true and loving best friend. Thank you for your wisdom, insight, humor, honesty, patience, and for your love of being an artist.

I love you all.
Mark


Reviews


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sharon smith

lovely cd :)
I teach high school math. Ran into Mark after not having seen him in years, and he told me about the cd. I play classical and contemporary instrumental music in my classroom at school, so bought the cd to add to my collection. Very nice; works for me for year-round, not just Christmas :)

Carol Swanson/Christmasreviews.com

This is creative companionship at its finest.
For those who love the intimacy and easy elegance of solo piano instrumentals for the holidays, Mark Sorrells' December Night is an excellent choice. Although there are tons of piano Christmas albums on the market, Sorrells' CD reflects both character and balance not often seen.

Let me explain. First, some piano instrumentals ramble without color or direction. Sorrells' playing, on the other hand, is richly layered and presents emotional intensity in every line. Sorrells never pounds the keyboard, but he does make a statement, one that had me hanging on every note.

Even better, December Night reflects incredible balance. The song selection is sweet, impressively ranging over 18 tracks from ancient carols to modern traditional numbers to contemporary gems. And the musical styles are quite diverse, although they never clash and blend quite seamlessly into one classy product. The tone might be brilliantly new age (December Night/What Child Is This?), playfully ragtime (God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, gently pop (White Christmas, or sweet classical/jazz blends (Silent Night). It's all good.

Mark Sorrells has created the sort of album I like to wrap my arms around when the weather turns dark and cold as Christmas approaches. This is creative companionship at its finest. December Night should keep you and your family and friends well satisfied when the holidays roll around.

--Carol Swanson