Mrs. Claus Is Bearing a Gift for You

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas Time Is Here!

Chicago put out 2 Christmas albums

Christmas day is the celebration of the birth of the Savior. Christmas is also a season. In the Church, Christmas is a liturgical calendar season lasting 14 days following Advent. In the secular world, Christmas time is a season usually coinciding with the liturgical season, though it seems to end on New years Day.

The love and grace from the holy time of year spreads into the secular world. There is no way around it - it is about sharing and love and doing good for others - those you know and those you don't.
Well, this all brings me to the song "Christmas Time Is Here" written by Vince Guarldi. You remember Vince? He's the jazz pianist who wrote and performed that great music for
Charles Shultz's Charlie Brown Christmas.

That song, whether by the Trio or sung by the children's choir (all on "A Charlie Brown Christmas"), is such a wonderful piece and that music simply added more depth to the original 1965 cartoon classic. The cartoon, one of a few cartoons that is played today on network television without religious censorship, had a meaning and a lesson for kids of all ages. And although it is less than a half hour cartoon, it remains a favorite Christmas theme video right next to Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life" and "A Christmas Carol" or "Scrooge".

Well, in 2003, the group Chicago, recorded their first Christmas CD. Here we have the modern Frank Sinatra - Robert Lamm - singing a Charlie Brown classic. What a delivery! The band plays a wonderful adaptation and the spicy Hammond B3 organ playing of former band mate Bill Champlin makes this version a classic unto itself. Because of the popularity of this smooth progressive jazz rendition, other have tried to emulate what Mr. Lamm and Chicago have done, but Chicago's 21st century version is by far the best version.

There are always songs which have a special unique version by a particular artist that you have to have it on a mix CD or mp3. Frank Sinatra has a unique version of Jingle Bells, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme have a great Sleigh Ride, Hall and Oats have Rockin Around the Christmas Tree and the Beach Boys have Little St Nick (and Chicago has a Lamm-sung version of Feliz Navidad!) Well, not only do I love Lamm's Christmas Time Is Here!, but I still also play Vince Guaraldi Trio's original version as well. They're the same song yet they are not and that's why I love them both.
So listen to Chicago and then Charlie Brown! 



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