Sounds Of The Holidays has won the 2006 Detroit Music Award for "Outstanding World Recording" presented by the Motor City Music Foundation.
1. The First Noel
The First Noel dates back as early as the 13th century. It is of Cornish (county of England) origin. It was first published in a book called " Some Ancient Christmas Carols" from 1823 edited by William Sandys.
It is done here as a Samba
2. Cantata 147 (Jesu, Joy Of Man's Desiring)
One of the most popular of Bach's themes. Written for the closing chorus of the cantata in 1723, Bach arranged this original melody by Johann Schop with text by Martin Janus.
Orchestrated here as a choro ensemble with 7-string guitar, 2 cavaquinhos, mandolin and pandero with the addtion of acoustic bass. The chorus was triple tracked with all the parts bowed in the bass thumb position.
3. A. Chanuka
The quintessential song for the festival of lights. It is featured in the 20th Century Fox 1959 movie version of "The Diary of Ann Frank"
B. I Have A Little Dredl
With lyrics by S.S. Grossman and music by Samuel E. Goldfarb, the dreydl is a game played during chanuka. A dreydl is a four-sided top with markings on each side. Playing dreydl symbolizes that throughout Chanukah one is to be constantly mindful and thankful of the incredible miracles God has done for them.
This medley is done in bossa - nova style and because the melody of "Dreydl" outlines the tonic (home key) chord, the classic bossa chord progression of I, I6, I major 7 could be utilized. This harmonic movement is a particular favorite of the medley's arranger.
4. Happy Happy Kwanzaa
Kwanzaa is a week-long holiday observance held from December 26 to January 1 honoring African-American heritage, primarily in the United States.
A 10-stringed guitar known as a violao caipeira is the highlight of this tune done in an Afro-Brazilian style.
5. Carol Of The Bells
Adapted from the choral work "Shchedryk" by Mykola Leontovych (1877-1921). It was first performed in December 1916 by students at Kiev University.
Multi-tracked, all voices played by Rich on cavaquinho.
6. Winter Wonderland
Played in a baiāo style featuring a go - go bells and triangle. The melody is played on 7-string guitar.
7. We Three Kings
Both words and music were written in 1857 by Reverend John Henry Hopkins as part of a Christmas pageant for the General Theological Seminary in New York City. It first appeared in his "Carols, Hymns and Song" in 1863.
Played here in an Afro-Samba style with the melody rendered in the style of a Bach Choral.
8. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
Played as a lush, rolling ballad with a tripplet patteren played by Rob. Rich bows the melody on the the upper register of the acoustic bass
9. A. Little Drummer Boy
The apocryphal story of a poor boy who gives the infant Jesus the only gift he could. "I played my drum for him. I played my best for him."
B. Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairies
From act three of the Nutcracker ballet (1891-1892) by Peter Ilych Tchaikovski (1840-1893) an adaptation of the Nutcracker and the Mouse King by E.T.A. Hoffman
This medley features a "batucada" drum ensemble through out.
10. Lullaby(Lulajze Jezuniu)
Chopin used the melody of this beautiful Polish lullaby carol in his "Scherzo in B Minor Opus 20."
Done in choral style using 7-string guitar for the bass, two cavaquinhos for the tenor and alto parts and a mandolin for the soprano. The mandolin is a hundred-year-old Kowalewski family heirloom.