Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Sounds of Christmas

It was while I was working for Universal/Polycosmic Records -- remember I was handling jazz and classical music -- that I discovered pianist John Boswell's music. I listened to his album Count Me In and instantly fell in love with his music. One of the key tracks of that album is apiece called "Do It Again" which he co-wrote with a then-young actor by the name of Robert Downey Jr. It's an instrumental piece but there's a rumored version with vocals somewheres with Downey Jr on vox.

I always thought of his music as sensitive and moving. Something you listened to when you were relaxing or sitting at home at night or enjoying some nicely brewed coffee.

A few months later while preparing my catalogue for the Christmas season, I saw his album Festival of the Heart. I readily gave it a listen since I knew what music he was capable of and came away really really moved. It's funny how we can say such things about Christmas music, but the way John renders traditional Yuletide carols is a deep deep experience. I've recommended this album over the years to different people and all of them have come away raving about it and it has become a season favorite.

I know we're just days away, but if you have a chance, download it or buy the CD. It is definitely worth it. Listening to his version of "the First Noel" I swear I could see the snow falling on Central Park from my West Side apartment as I wrap myself around a jacket grateful for its warmth and more so for the coffee mug in my hands.

I haven't really felt the season to be quite honest, but listening to this just made me nostalgic for the way I felt about this time of the year when I was a kid, made me think of walking the snow-matted fields of Princeton where I later made my home. It's Christmas. It's a time of remembering our Lord and feeling good about many things. Memories included.

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