How about a Christmas thread?

It’s that time of the year! Why not throw whatever you’ve got here–be it your performance or whatever tune makes it Christmas for you.

I’ll start it off with a tune from Norah Jones.

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What a fun video Scott! It should certainly put one in the Christmas spirit! It put a smile on my face. Thanks for sharing.

Thanks for sharing, Scott. It does make one smile!

I’m still working on something to share here that I play, but in the meantime…

I was listening to cocktail chatter on this week’s Political Gabfest (a great podcast by the way) and David Leonhardt talked about a Strayhorn/Ellington adaptation of The Nutcracker. Here’s a couple recent performances with dance:

Dance of the Floreadores with the Fredonia Jazz Orchestra:

Sugar Rum Cherry with the Princeton University Ballet:

Fun to listen to and watch, although it probably won’t make it to the top of my holiday favorites. What is on the top of my favorites are Take 6 adaptations. Here’s a great live version that features guest Brian McKnight:

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@gregb

Thanks for sharing!

Honestly, I’ve never been a great fan of traditional Christmas music. I think it’s because as a kid, I listened to the radio pretty much nonstop, and the Christmas playlists always took away my favorite tunes :smiley:. But that clip from Take 6 with Brian McKnight is so very nice!

Ho Ho Ho! This thread uplifted me today!

@scott1 - Love the Norah. Such a quaint Christmas tune. Since I’m still working on composing my own, I like to see successful holiday originals. I LOVE traditional Christmas music and find many more modern originals just don’t hit the mark (in my opinion). This one does, maybe cause I’m such a Norah Fan. And the video makes me smile; especially the Brooklyn vibe of it all.

@gregb - Beautiful! I’ve been playing the Nutcracker this week for fun, and hearing these adaptations with dancing - what a delight! Especially the Clarinet. And especially the choreography on the 2nd video.

Take 6 and Brian McKnight - I like the use of the voice for rhythm. It’s hard to do that song well, I’ve tried a few times with solo piano. This is an interesting version for sure!
And Looking forward to hearing what you are working on!

So I’ve been working on Santa Baby, It’s a tune I’ve sung for years, and am about to share a-play-along track, since it’s just a fun one to jam on. Wanted to share a few versions I’m digging here…

Classic version by Eartha Kitt -

Robyn Adele Anderson - I’m not familiar with her as a Singer. Maybe you guys are? But I LOVE this arrangement. It’s like they read my mind, since I was looking to do something creative with Hark Silver Bells last week, when preparing for a Christmas Gig. I got sidetracked and dropped it, but then came across this where they mash it up with Santa Baby. Video is kinda static and stagy. But I found it to be a creative arrangement by the Tenor Sax player Steve Ujfalussy. Ever heard of him?

Finally, when taking a break just now, I finally had a good idea for a Christmas tune. Thanks for the inspiration guys! Will share if I can get it fleshed out in time before Christmas. Hope the Holiday sEason is treating you guys well~!

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@Lyndol I’d seen a few YT videos of the Postmodern Jukebox but didn’t realize Robyn Adele Anderson was the vocalist. Honestly I prefer the Eartha Kitt version, and look forward to seeing what you come up with.

Here’s a couple quick and dirty arrangements of popular tunes I’ll play for my relatives next week.


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We’re getting closer to the big day. and I love what you guys have shared.

@Lyndol, “Santa Baby” is a classic. Hoping your “good idea” pans out. Looking forward to hearing it when you have it ready.

@gregb, I really like these tunes! The second is from Vince Guaraldi, no? I’m thinking they’re not so “down and dirty” but rather studied, polished. :wink:

Merry Christmas to all! :clinking_glasses: :clinking_glasses:

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Greg…just beautiful You will put a smile on your family’s face!

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Thanks, Scott and Celia! And, yes, there’s something about Guaraldi’s score for “A Charlie Brown Christmas” that seems uplifting (which we all could use right about now). “Linus and Lucy” (the tune that everyone knows) is also a lot of fun and a great exercise in hand independence.

Just came across this today, and I had to get it in for Christmas. It’s a new video made for Joni Mitchell’s “River,” that great tune from Blue 50 years ago. She’s such a treasure. Enjoy! :musical_keyboard:

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even Christmas is passed here what i came accross lovely arrangement and voice

heres the full live concert Live From Emmet's Place Vol. 79 - Vuyo Sotashe, Grant Stewart, Tyler Mitchell & Evan Sherman - YouTube

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Hope you had a lovely Christmas everyone! Wow, these superb links and tracks!!! Thanks so much for sharing them. I have them playing in the background now Yay!

How I wish next Christmas we can probably have any kind of PianoGroove’s 2022 Student (Christmas) Collaboration heheh - where we can play something that maybe Hayden or our instructors can plan on… (just a thought, pls disregard if not useful hahah) It would be really fun in case …! no matter what level we all are in…

Here’s wishing us all a SUPERB 2022! :heart_eyes:

Beautiful, just beautiful! I agree that even your down and dirty sounds polished with such a nuance touch. Thanks for sharing. I’m sure it did bring joy to your family and hope you guys had a great Christmas.

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@scott1 - What a fantastic Video of River by Joni Mitchell. The watercolor automation was soooo beautiful and really expressed well the song. You know, I never think of that one at the Holiday season, though I am familiar with it. So thanks, next year I’d like to add that one the holiday repertoire.

@Pierrot - Emmet’s Place Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas was so smooth and chill. Emmet Cohen’s piano is so delicate. And I liked the vocalist, Vuyo Sotashe, very much. They whole vibe is so relaxing.

@Kristeta - Yes! I think a PG Christmas Collaboration would be so cool! Either a live Zoom recital or everyone posting a Christmas song? So many ways to go about it, but I think it’s a great idea!

I posted a Santa Baby sing-a-long track in the Vocal Simulation Challenge section.

But if you are like me, than you probably don’t want to play Christmas tunes in January. I’m working on posting the requested song - If I Only Had a Brain for this month’s live simulation challenge.
I came across this solo piano / vocal arrangement of it by Harry Connick Jr. and find it interesting. His left hand is chording more than playing baselines, with a slow and sparse arrangement. I was going a different direction, more up tempo with walking bass. But I kinda liked this and wanted to share.

I’ll be posting the play-a-long next week as I finished the arrangement.

Here we go! Hope you guys have a had a good piano start to 2022 regardless of challenges. I’m still looking for a solo ‘lift’ …

@Lyndol,

Love Connick’s version of this tune. I think leaving the bassline out is the right way to go at this point. You can always add whatever you wish once you get the tune grounded. Looking forward to the play-along.

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Hey Lyndol, thanks so much, happy new year, and I’ll look forward to seeing (and working on accompanying) more vocal tracks from you!

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