Despite 14 years and 4 CDs since Octobop first appeared, people have asked for yet another recording. Some people close to the band suggested we do a Christmas album. The only problem is that no one in the band really likes Christmas music. So we decided that if Octobop was to jump into this fray, then we needed to do Christmas music our way. All the arrangements were done by band members – Jack, Randy, Brian, and me. Constrained only by our ability to play the charts, we ended up with a pretty eclectic mix. The charts run from the humorous and fun to serious to just plain out there. To find the full story behind all the tunes and how the arrangements came about, visit www.octobop.com.
Here's a brief summary: Line for Santa is a mashup of two tunes – listen and figure them out. Santa Baby sets the groove. Christmas Time is Here and The Christmas Song had to be included because of their jazz heritage. Jerry Mendelbaum is a twist provided by comedian Allan Sherman. Bernie's Bells combines a west coast jazz standard with a traditional Christmas tune. It Came Upon the Midnight Clear is recast as a jazz waltz. Carol of the Bells seems to come out of a Jazz Crusaders bag thanks to Randy, the trumpeter. Jack, on guitar, found a beautiful Brazilian carol, Filho de Papai Noel, that once we heard it, had to be included. Angels We Have Heard On High gets a fun treatment from Brian, the bassist. Saturnian Sleight Ride, in theory, isn't a Christmas carol, but sleighs are part of holiday tradition. Besides Saturnians only get to listen to Christmas music every 29.4 earth years, so we should give them something special.
Taking Christmas warhorses and recreating them in the Octobop way has been creative, fun, and rewarding. We hope you like it. May your holidays always be cool – Geoff Roach, October 2012