For three decades the compositions and arrangements of Jeff Christmas have been featured on numerous recordings.
For almost two decades now I’ve been making quite a habit of furnishing a local ten-piece brass group with new arrangements and original compositions. Brassroots came along right around the same time I was pursuing a career in composition, and proved to be a superb vehicle for practicing my trade. When we set out to record this CD I had no idea that it was going to end up being my “Brassroots” Anthology, and I’m beyond ecstatic.
Wrapped In Song (2003)
The first CD released by the Amabile Chamber Choir, this disc features sacred songs, songs of peace, folk songs from the world over, and a set of gospel pieces featuring renowned jazz singer, Denise Pelley. I Go To The Rock and The Rain Is Over And Gone are two of my arrangements, originally written for the musical “The Gospel According To Jazz”, which premiered in 1999. Later discovered by the Amabile Youth Singers, and they have been part of their library since. I’m very pleased to have these two pieces included on this beautiful CD.
River - Journey To Wellspring (2003)
In 2002 I met with four members of Wellspring London and Region, a cancer support centre, and shared their experiences living with cancer. River is a 30 minute work for full orchestra illustrating the extraordinary journeys taken by each member of “the quartet”.
"Music has this universal impact when you need comfort or inspiration or solace." - Shelley Markland (Wellspring executive director)
Long time musical colleague, Canadian Staff Band conductor John Lam commissioned me to write an opening Fanfare and Intrada especially for this recording. Living Flame takes as its inspiration the words of hymnwriter James Montgomery:
. . . “O for the living flame, from his own altar brought
To touch our lips, our minds inspire, and wing to Heaven our thought!
Snow Has Fallen (2001)
This CD “Snow Has Fallen” is a rich mélange of musical groupings, styles, and moods.” - Ken Fleet, conductor of London Pro Musica
Together LPM and Brassroots set out to record a Christmas CD to include repertoire which has not been previously recorded. Among the Brassroots pieces is my arrangement of Here He Comes (aka “Here Comes Santa Claus”). This 10 piece brass setting was adapted from my Big Band version, written in 1987.
A Christmas Celebration (1994)
Portrait - Intrada Brass (2006)
Songs Of Erin, my very first arrangement for Large Brass Ensemble, has been among the most sought after pieces in my library to date. It has been performed by a multitude of “Trumpet Divas” around the world and can be heard on “Spirit Of The Pioneers”, “Excelsior” and “Travellin’ Light”. World renowned Russell Gray of Glasgow, Scotland performs on both “Travellin’ Light” and “Portrait”. Enjoy.
Christmas Brass Spectacular (2009)
In my final years at The University of Western Ontario I was trying to establish myself as a composer, and in 1991, I was given the challenge of creating an “intrada” for my good friend and teacher Eric Schultz. IBS (International Brass Soloists) was made up of 5 “internationally” acclaimed brass soloists: Ifor James, James Watson, Michael Lind, Stanley Clark, and of course Erik. This music was to be used as their signature piece, played before every concert and featured on all their recordings.
Original cast recording to the stage production of Jazzabel, featuring Denise Pelley, Stephen Holowitz (piano), Mitch Tyler (bass), and yours truly on “traps”. The music is compiled of jazz hits from the 30’s as well as some lesser known tunes. I also had the pleasure of supplementing the 30’s jazz score with a few original songs of my own, co-written by playwright and lyricist Jacquie Gauthier.
International Brass Soloists (1991)
Here again is IBS (International Brass Soloists) Ifor James, James Watson, Michael Lind, Stanley Clark, and Erik Schultz, playing their theme song, commissioned by the group in 1991
I'm Home (2001)
In 1999 I was asked to take the reins and create a dozen new arrangements for the already popular “Gospel According To Jazz”. The show was a typical blend of Gospel and Jazz music, scored for a multitude of instruments and voices. “I’m Home” is another Denise Pelley compilation, including some highlights from “GATJ”.
. . . “when you listen to these songs it will feed your soul and lift your spirit as you continue on your journey home.” - Denise Pelley
Guardian Of Our Way (1997)
Gaîté Canadienne (2002)
Festival Fanfare and Theme was commissioned by Bram Gregson and Intrada Brass for this recording. Originally composed for concert band, I wrote this work for my good friend, conductor Richard Arrigo, to be premiered at the 1999 Tulip Festival in Ottawa, Ontario. The piece was formulated to pay homage to long time idol, composer John Williams, who is best known for his contribution to film music but also a noted composer of ceremonial music.
By Request (2003)
In the summer of 2001, London Ontario hosted the Canada Summer Games. I was commissioned to compose the music for the Opening Ceremonies, which took place at TD Waterhouse Stadium at the University Of Western Ontario and was broadcasted live on TSN. This CD includes a transcription of Land Of Lakes And Rivers for Symphonic Band.
Brassroots 25 (2011)
Christmas In Brass (1992)
Christmas From The Heart (2007)
It is always a pleasure working with Denise, one of Canada’s finest singers, and this CD was no exception.
There are many versions of my arrangement of Silent Night. Originally scored for Denise and full choir, it has since taken on several forms. I hope you enjoy this rendition, specifically crafted to compliment the tone and flow of this recording.
Canadian Voices (2004)
This CD contains one of my most cherished compositions, The Warburton Arms. Composed in 1995 as a solo piano piece, dedicated to the memory of my Grandad, Arthur James Christmas. It was immediately scored for Brassroots (London, Ontario) and has been a staple in their repertoire since. The flugel horn soloist is and always was Julia Meyers (Vaughan) of London, who sounds better every time she plays it.
Spirit of the Pioneers (1994)
Travellin' Light (2004)
Russell Gray has been a professional soloist for the last 15 years, establishing himself as one of the world’s leading exponents in the art of cornet playing. His version of Songs Of Erin can be heard on “Portrait Intrada Brass” and his own compilation “Travellin’ Light”. By far, some of the finest “cornet crooning” I have heard. I am honoured to have had Russell record my music.