MUSICIAN CREDITS

 

MUSICIANS: Glenn Crytzer (g, bj, dir, a, v, v3); Sam Hoyt, Jason Prover (t); Mike Davis (t, c, v3)

Rob Edwards, Jim Fryer (tb); Joe McDonough (tb, bb)

Jay Ratman (cl, as, ss); Dennis Lichtman (cl, as, bj); Dan Block (cl, as, ts, fl); Matt Koza (cl, ts); Ricky Alexander (cl, bcl, as, bar, v3) Gabe Terracciano, Meg Okura, Victoria Paterson, Caroline Drexler, Francisco Salazar, Akiko Hosoi (vn)

Benni von Gutzeit (vl), Tom Valdez (vc), Kathryn Andrews (h)

Bryan Reeder (p, cel); Ian Hutchison (sb); Andrew Millar (d);

Hannah Gill, Dandy Wellington (v).

 

VOCALS: Tracks 5, 9, 18 by Glenn Crytzer; Tracks 7, 13, 17 by Glenn Crytzer, Mike Davis, and Ricky Alexander; Tracks 2, 8, 15, 20 by Hannah Gill; Tracks 3, 11, 16 by Dandy Wellington.

PRODUCTION CREDITS

 

MUSICAL DIRECTION AND ARRANGEMENTS: Glenn Crytzer

PRODUCER: Glenn Crytzer

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER: John Tishov

SESSION ENGINEER: Todd Whitelock (Recorded 9/2/19 at Oktaven Audio)

VOCAL ENGINEERS FOR HANNAH GILL: Nathaniel Sellin, Rylan Sunseri, Glenn Crytzer

MIXED BY: Glenn Crytzer and Duff Harris

MASTERED BY: Steve Turnidge at Ultraviolet Studios, Seattle

COVER ILLUSTRATOR: Isaac Herrera

COVER MODELS: Zelma Elm and Darlene Elkanick

CD JACKET DESIGN: Holly Zmijewski

LINER NOTES: Glenn Crytzer (wr); Amy Winn (ed)

PHOTOS: Jonathan Smith (Big Band), Tom Moore (Glenn), Don Spiro (Cover)

 

GRAND PATRONS

 

Leo Macenze, Susan Sankova, Kathleen Bemis, Melody Cohen, Patricia Little & Robie Russell, Dan Yeatts, Glenn & Lynn Crytzer.

SPECIAL THANKS

 

Stephanie Robinson, Colin Hancock, Jeremy Brantley, Fuzzy Snook, Trevor Tirapelle, Brendan Seage, Robert Zehder Chris Wareham, Mark DeVos, Chris Brozenick, Heather McRay, Don Spiro, Martyn Nelson, Peter Gambino, Audrey Kreiser, Andrew Selzer, John Tracy, Donna Nadan & Chloe Feoranzo, Niall G Monaghan, Gordon Dang, Dan Cox, Jordan Spencer, Michael Chen, Dom Toulon, Joe Kerola, Michael Tartre & Tara Isabella Burton, Meike Frese, Audrey Adrian, Kam Leitner, Marc Vosen, Jennifer Fahnestock Krueger, Joan Garry, Dax Hock, Steve Wilcox, Gordon Cavalero, Andy Nishida, Ronald Frank, Todd Gates, Bill Hoffman, Jennifer Barnett, Bing Crosby, Dan Herman, Patricia Winship, Rachael Spiro, Fort Washington Collegiate Church, Ron Wilkins, Sam Range, Joe Knox, Mike Zirpolo, Loren Schoenberg, and David Fletcher.

Dear Listener,

 

In April 2019, the idea for a pretty Christmas ballad came to me. The song was finished within just a few hours, but I was starting to feel quite jolly and I began writing more Holiday music! Within three weeks I had composed 11 new songs, and so I thought “Well, I suppose we should make an album!” This release is exciting for me because it marks not only my first opportunity to create a full-length Christmas album, (my 5 song EP called A Little Love This Christmas was released in 2013), but my first opportunity to arrange for big band with an added string section.

 

During June and July of 2019, fans generously and enthusiastically contributed more than $20,000 to our Kickstarter project to fund the album while I spent all summer holed up in my apartment writing the arrangements. Christmas music has always been very special to me, and I’m excited to share these new songs and arrangements with you. I hope they will become some of your perennial favorites and you’ll enjoy them anew each year!

 

Happiest of holidays to you and yours,

 

Glenn Crytzer

THE GLENN CRYTZER ORCHESTRA

 

The GCO is a New York City based big band that specializes in authentic performance of big band and dance band music from before1945 as well as new original music composed and arranged in the classic styles of this period. The group comprises an aggregation of NYC musicians who are top specialists in early jazz performance styles and was voted Best Group in the 2017 NYC Fans Decide Jazz Poll (sponsored by Hot House Magazine). The GCO’s music has appeared in a variety of TV programs and films by Disney, MGM, ABC, and more. GLENN CRYTZER When I was in college at Florida State University, around the turn of the century, I fell in love with swing dancing and swing music. I was studying classical composition and cello, but I began traveling obsessively in my free time to take dance classes and compete in Lindy Hop contests. It always bothered me that, no matter where I traveled, it was rare to find bands that played authentically in the classic styles that we loved to dance to. While doing my graduate work at the Cleveland Institute of Music (again in classical composition), I took up tenor banjo for fun. Over time, I realized I was pretty darn good at coaxing that authentic sound out of a band. After graduation, I moved to Seattle. During the day, I worked at the Seattle Opera as Head Music Librarian, and in the evenings I led bands at swing dances. I took up the guitar in earnest in 2008 in order to perform the music of the late 30s and early 40s.

GLENN CRYTZER

When I was in college at Florida State University, around the turn of the century, I fell in love with swing dancing and swing music. I was studying classical composition and cello, but I began traveling obsessively in my free time to take dance classes and compete in Lindy Hop contests. It always bothered me that, no matter where I traveled, it was rare to find bands that played authentically in the classic styles that we loved to dance to. While doing my graduate work at the Cleveland Institute of Music (again in classical composition), I took up tenor banjo for fun. Over time, I realized I was pretty darn good at coaxing that authentic sound out of a band. After graduation, I moved to Seattle. During the day, I worked at the Seattle Opera as Head Music Librarian, and in the evenings I led bands at swing dances.

 

I took up the guitar in earnest in 2008 in order to perform the music of the late 30s and early 40s. I eventually left my job at the Opera to pursue band-leading full time. I relocated to NYC in 2014 to fully steep myself in the jazz tradition and to work with the many fine musicians from around the world who have congregated here in NYC to make music together. Ever since, my work has been focused on the continued refinement of my orchestra’s sound. My goal is to create music that attends to all the subtle details of the vintage styles we play for maximum authenticity, while simultaneously creating something that is more than just a carbon copy of the historical bands – something with its own unique voice, a new old band. If you discovered an unlabeled recording of us and didn’t know when it was from, we hope you might think it was authentic to the Swing Era and had been carefully remastered for outstanding sound quality! 

RECORDING TECHNIQUES

The album was recorded at Oktaven Audio in Mount Vernon, NY on 9/12/2019. My sonic goal was to achieve the balance, timbre and blend that is an integral part of swing music, while maximizing fidelity. Thus, this recording was not made by the common, current method (micing each instrument individually with many of the musicians in different rooms listening to each other on headphones). That style distorts the acoustic blend of a big band’s sections and also gives you only a close-up sound on every instrument, this makes the instruments sound very different from how they sound acoustically. To record the big band all our musicians were in one room playing live. One mic was used for certain types of solos that are meant to be heard on a close mic, one mic was used for each of the 3 sections – brass, saxes, and strings, one mic was used for the piano, and because our celesta is not very loud, a separate mic was used for the celesta. Vocals were done separately in a booth. All of the mics used were vintage or vintage reproduction ribbon mics to achieve the warmth that classic ribbon mics give a recording.

1. OVER THE RIVER AND THROUGH THE WOOD

Traditional (M), Lydia Child (L)

 

It seemed appropriate to begin the album with an ode to Thanksgiving, since the Holiday season begins on Thanksgiving Day here in the US. Lydia Child’s 1840s poem was originally set to music in a jaunty 6/8 feel by an unknown composer, but here I’ve translated the melody into swing time with the arrangement inspired by those created by Fletcher Henderson for the Benny Goodman Orchestra in the 1930s. Since the song’s short form (only 16 bars) risks becoming too repetitive over the course of 3 minutes, I designed the arrangement to change keys after almost every chorus to keep a sense of forward movement and development.

 

Solos: Lichtman (cl); Crytzer (eg); Block (ts); Prover (t); Reeder (p)

2. UNDERNEATH THE MISTLETOE

Glenn Crytzer (M & L)

 

This song was the result of me wondering “how many times can I continue repeating a ii-V7 pattern that ascends by steps before it just gets ridiculous, and how on earth will I get back to the tonic once it does?” The answers are “4” and “sneakily.” Following the somewhat ridiculous nature of the harmony, it only seemed appropriate to match it with an equally ridiculous lyric about a gal waiting under some mistletoe at a party for a certain someone to come kiss her who has no idea that he’s the one she’s waiting for.

 

In arranging, I wanted to use the strings in a way that wouldn’t suck the swing out of the number, as so often happens when strings are added to big band music. Thus, I avoided underscoring the vocal with a lot of lush chords, gave the strings some moving lines, and mostly used lush passages only as comic relief to the brass and reed outbursts, creating juxtapositions that highlight the ridiculousness of the song’s narrative.

 

Vocal: Gill | Solos: Prover (t); Edwards (tb); Davis (t)

UNDERNEATH THE MISTLETOE

I'm just sittin' here and waiting

Underneath the Mistletoe,

Just anticipatin',

I ain't got no place to go

I don't want to miss the chance to taste a kiss

From your sweet lips and so I'll simply wait.

Other boys who come a'flirtin'

Actin' like they're Romeo

End up leavin' hurtin';

I won't even say hello.

But if you'd come courtin' soon we'd be cavortin'.

Wish you'd hurry up it's getting late.

I suppose I could prob'ly walk over

And strike up a conversation,

But, gee, that leaves an awful amount to fate,

And I wanna be totally certain

This will lead to a fraternization,

So I'm countin' on this mistletoe to facilitate.

 

I've been glancin' in your direction

From Underneath the Mistletoe,

Offerin' my affection

Here where all the lights are low.

All I want for Christmas is a kiss for this miss

Gosh. it's awfully rude to make me wait.

Wish you'd hurry up it's getting late.
 

3. I'M SORRY, SANTA CLAUS

Glenn Crytzer (M & L)

 

Inspired by the Oliver and Durham arrangements for Lunceford, Dorsey, and Miller, I’m Sorry, Santa Claus is a swinging, mid-tempo dance number showcasing vocalist Dandy Wellington’s comedic presence as he pleads with Father Christmas for second chance, having accidentally left a fire burning in the fireplace last Christmas Eve.

 

Vocal: Wellington | Solos: Edwards (tb)

I'M SORRY SANTA CLAUS

I'm Sorry, Santa Claus!

I hope you'll forgive me because

Last year I did you wrong,

But I've been good all this year long.

It was late last Christmas Eve,

I was so tired I fell asleep,

'Til I heard your awful shout

'Cause I forgot to put the fire in the fireplace out!

You were runnin' all around.

You knocked our Christmas tree right down.

You got so mad and you yelled at me,

And the words you said I can't repeat!

Kris Kringle, hear my prayer:

Come back this year and I swear,

In our chimney you won't find

A single ember that might ignite your jolly behind.

 

4. DECK THE HALLS

Traditional (M), Thomas Oliphant (L)

 

This familiar Welsh carol celebrating the Yuletide and the New Year is set here in an original swinging instrumental rendition inspired by arrangements performed by Miller, Lunceford, and Goodman.

 

Solos: Davis (t); Reeder (p); Edwards (tb)

5. IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE

Glenn Crytzer (M & L)

 

The film It’s a Wonderful Life wasn’t a hit when it was first released in 1946, but when it slipped into the public domain in the 1970s (due to a clerical error by the copyright owner, Republic Pictures), TV networks began airing the film frequently because they could show it royalty free. This gave it a new life and made it a part of many families’ holiday traditions each year.

 

Since it wasn’t a hit until after the heyday of the American Songbook, the film’s message never made its way into song. This Christmas waltz is an attempt to rectify that cultural oversight. The song doesn’t tell the story of George Bailey and the Building and Loan, but it instead sums up the underlying idea behind the film: that the light of friendship and love overcomes darkness.

 

Vocal: Crytzer | Solos: Davis (t)

IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE

It's a Wonderful Life.

Let us celebrate Christmas together.

Friendship is our greatest treasure

In this wonderful life.

It's a Wonderful Life.

When you relish the feeling of giving

That's how you know that you're living

A most wonderful life.

When you feel like hope is lost,

and your world is coming to an end,

Just remember this piece of advice:

No man is a failure who has friends!

It's a Wonderful Life.

Let us drink and be merry my brother

For all we have's one another

In this wonderful life,

But that's what makes it a wonderful life.

6. TEA (CHINESE DANCE FROM THE NUTCRACKER)

P. Tchaikovsky (M)

This 1920s style arrangement of the popular Chinese Dance from The Nutcracker begins with a straight feel, the soprano saxophone taking on the famous flute theme in Tchaikovsky’s original score. But soon the clouds part and the cornet leads us into a hot adaption of the original tune.

 

Solos: Rattman (ss); Alexander (as); Davis (c); Reeder (p); Fryer (tb); Rattman (ss

7. AN OLD FASHIONED CHRISTMAS

Glenn Crytzer (M & L)

 

Inspired by the male vocal-harmony groups of the mid 1930s such as the Lunceford Trio and the Lombardo Trio, this song is an ode to one of my favorite wintertime libations.

 

Vocal: Crytzer, Davis, Alexander | Solos: Alexander (as); Davis (t); Crytzer (g)

AN OLD FASHIONED CHRISTMAS

Christmas today has lost its meaning.

I long for Christmas time of yore.

For what would old Granddad say

If he could see the way

We spend all season long just wandering

Through department stores?

Oh, give me An Old Fashioned Christmas,

One where we all all raise a glass.

I've no need for presents,

Candy canes, or pie

As long as I've got sugar, bitters

Orange peel and some rye!

So let's drink an old cup of kindness

'Til there's not a man left who can stand!

Oh, I'll take An Old Fashioned Christmas

With an old fashioned in my hand!

8. PLAYING SANTA CLAUS

Glenn Crytzer (M & L)

 

There is a tradition in the US among some families where a member of the family will "play Santa Claus" on Christmas morning - this doesn't mean that they'll dress up in a red suit, but rather that that family member will be the one designated to pass out the gifts stacked underneath the tree. This turn of phrase got me thinking about the spirit of the season and how much fun it is to give gifts to others; all at once it became the idea for a song. The arrangement is inspired by the late 30s/early 40s Goodman arrangements that featured vocalists such as Helen Ward, Peggy Lee, Martha Tilton, and Helen Forrest. Here we feature our own Hannah Gill chirping both verse and chorus.

 

Vocal: Gill | Solos: Lichtman (cl); Koza (ts)

PLAYING SANTA CLAUS

Some folks just can't wait to see

What Saint Nick will bring;

Will it be a be a brand new toy

Or a diamond ring?

It must be a joy to make

So many hearts so gay.

Gee, I'd love the chance to be

Kris Kringle for a day!

 

Oh, I love giving gifts,
Checking names off on my list.

I love playing Santa Claus.

Some wrapping paper and

Little bows you tie by hand

Fill me up with joy because

When you give a friend the present they've been waiting for

Suddenly their heart grows wings, their spirit starts to soar!

Oh I love a great surprise

And the looks in people's eyes

Just before I make them drop their jaws!
Oh, I love Playing Santa Claus!

9. CHRISTMAS IN NEW YORK

Glenn Crytzer (M & L)

 

If you’ve never been to New York City during the holiday season, do yourself a favor and schedule a trip right now. NYC is like no other place in the world, and at the holidays we’re at our best. This tune is inspired by two of my favorite singers (whose approaches couldn’t be more different), Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. But I think you’ll hear a little of them both in this number’s phrasing.

 

Vocal: Crytzer | Solos: Fryer (tb); Davis (t); Lichtman (cl)

CHRISTMAS IN NEW YORK

I've spent Christmas in London Town,

Paris, France and Budapest.

I've had a Rockwell Christmas

In the American Midwest.

And once I trimmed a palm tree

In sunny Puerto Vallarta.

I've even swapped white elephant gifts

On the plains of Africa.

I'd hate to choose a favorite,

But if you must insist

I'll take you to the little town

That tops my Christmas list.

This year let's spend Christmas in Manhattan.

There's no place quite like it that I know.

Millions of lights colored red and green and white

Illuminate the falling snow.

We'll go out to Rockefeller Center

Where they light the tree out on the mall,

Then we can go see the Rockettes' show

At the Radio City Hall.

We can drink a cocoa by the rink in Central Park,

Then when it gets dark, we'll make our way to the ballet.

We'll go walkin' by the pretty windows

Up and down Fifth Avenue at night.

Let's spend Christmas in New York this year

'Cause New York does Christmas right!

10. TOYLAND

Victor Herbert (M), Glen MacDonough (L)

 

This song is a classic waltz from the 1903 operetta Babes in Toyland. Though the operetta was not originally intended specifically for performance during the holiday season (it premiered in June), its second act, set at Christmas time, has made it a perennial favorite.

 

My arrangement is modeled after the sound of a 1920s society dance orchestra. It features an Arbanesque trumpet solo by Mike Davis, and an orchestration on the verse that should be offensive to anyone with a sense of decency or propriety: banjo accompanied by harp.

 

Vocal: Crytzer | Solos: Crytzer (bj); Davis (t)

11. JOLLY OLD SAINT NICHOLAS

John McCaskey (M), Emily Huntington Miller (L)

 

I’ve heard a lot of settings of this classic holiday tune, but I always thought it would sound great in the style of a late 1920s territory orchestra with a janky, mid-tempo groove. Since I’ve never heard an arrangement of it in this style (territory orchestras being largely under-recorded), I decided to create my own.

 

Vocal: Wellington | Solos: Prover (t); Fryer (tb); Rattman (as)

JOLLY OLD SAINT NICHOLAS

Jolly Old St.Nicholas
Lean your ear this way
Don't you tell a single soul
What I'm going to say

Christmas Eve is coming soon
Now, you dear old man
Whisper what you'll bring to me
Tell me if you can.

When the clock is striking twelve
When I'm fast asleep
Down the chimney broad and black
With your pack you'll creep

All the stockings you will find
Hanging in a row
Mine will be the biggest one
You'll be sure to know.

12. I SAW THREE SHIPS COME SAILING IN

Traditional (M & L)

 

This tune, originally in 6/8 time, suffers from a very short 8 bar form when converted into swing time. To avoid repetitiveness and create interest in the arrangement I looked at the 8 bars of the form as an A section of a larger, 32 bar AABA form. The As state the theme in one key while the B section states the theme transposed up a 4th, much like the Tadd Dameron tune Good Bait. Despite the repeated theme on the bridge, the modulation gives a sense of a release.

 

Solos: McDonough (tb); Prover (t); Lichtman (cl); Block (ts)

 

13. SILENT NIGHT

Franz Xaver Gruber (M), Joseph Mohr (L)

 

This 1920s dance band arrangement of Christmas staple Silent Night gives us the feeling of a lilting waltz rather than the more common settings which tend to be slower and more lyrical. The arrangement includes an apropos quote from the
Brahms lullaby and a “sweet” trio on the vocal chorus.

 

Vocal: Crytzer, Davis, Alexander

14. UP ON THE HOUSETOP

Benjamin Hanby (M & L)

 

I found this song particularly tricky to arrange, because of its short form (just 16 bars) and quick tempo. The approach I decided on, to keep interest in the arrangement, was to create a juxtoposition between hot solos and squarer ensemble passages to emulate the sound of a late ‘20s danceband that had, theretofore, played mostly written-out foxtrots but that had just recently added some hot soloists to their line-up. Thus the solos are hot, but it’s as if the playing of those musicians has not yet affected the full ensemble dynamic very much.

 

Solos: Davis (c); Alexander (cl); Fryer (tb); Rattman (as); Terracciano (v); Reeder (cel)

15. HEY, MISTER SNOWFLAKE

Glenn Crytzer (M & L)

 

One of my favorite moments of the year is when I see that very first snowflake slowly drifting to the ground, all by its lonesome self. In this song I decided to anthropomorphize that first snowflake, lost and waiting for his pals to join him. The arrangement is inspired by the great Goodman and Shaw bands’ vocal numbers of the late 30s.

 

Vocal: Gill | Solos: Lichtman (cl); Koza (ts)

HEY, MISTER SNOWFLAKE

Hey, Mister Snowflake,

How do you do?

I haven't seen you for a while,

But you make me smile

Every year when you first appear.

Hey, Mister Snowflake,

Did you have a nice fall?
Tell me, are all of your pals

On their way right now?

Are you the scout or did your buddies flake out?

You're so individual

There'll never be another like you,

But you're so ephemeral

That soon you and I will have to say "Adieu."

Oh, Hey, Mister Snowflake

Here come your friends

To join you again in the squall.

I hope you have a ball

And I'll see you back here next year.

16. ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS FOOD

Glenn Crytzer (M & L)

 

If I had to pick a favorite thing about the holidays, it would have to be the FOOD! There are so many delicious treats and many of them only appear once a year, so indulge in the season and worry about that beach body in the spring!

 

(Author’s note: I think I gained 5 lbs while writing this song.)

 

Vocal: Wellington | Solos: Block (ts); Edwards (tb)

ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS FOOD

 

Hand me the eggnog, pass me the pie.

Give me the stuffing and a turkey thigh.

I might even fry the gizzard if I'm in the mood

Oh, All I Want for Christmas is Food!

Serve me a ham bone with some collard greens,

A bowl of bread pudding made with heavy cream.

Some pheasant would be pleasant in a bowl of burgoo

Oh, All I Want for Christmas is Food!

Snickerdoodles, macaroons, and Bûche de Noël,

I'll eat anything that you bake.

Give me peanut brittle, gingerbread and Crème Caramel;

Top it off with Grandma's fruitcake.

Slide me the cornbread I'll eat the whole batch,

Cranberry sauce, we're gonna cook it from scratch.

Mashed potatoes made so creamy you don't have to chew

Oh, All I Want for Christmas is Food!

Give me some berries and a sugar plum,

I'd love to get my hands on some hot cross buns,

Now don't forget to make your famous tiramisu,

Oh, All I Want for Christmas is Food!

I'll take a chocolate mousse, a latke, and a mince-meat pie.

I'll even eat up all of the crumbs.

Profiteroles, piroshki, and a glass of mulled wine,

Pass another slice of Beef Wellington.

Come New Years Day I'll start a diet, I swear,

But for now my attitude is devil may care.

I'm havin' all my suits let out to make a little more room.

'Cause All I Want for Christmas is Food.

All I Want for Christmas is Food.

All I Want for Christmas is Food!

17. (WATCH OUT FOR) THE KRAMPUS

Glenn Crytzer (M & L)

 

Though he has only become widely known by Americans in the past few years (thanks to some holiday horror films), the Krampus has been part of European holiday traditions for centuries. Rather than Santa bringing naughty children lumps of coal, his evil counterpart - a demon-like figure called “the Krampus” - visits bad little boys and girls the night before Saint Nicholas Day and might beat them with sticks, throw them in a sack and drown them in the river, eat them whole, or take them back with him to Hell.

 

Krampus festivities, much like Santa-Con pub crawls in the US, usually involve a lot of drunk people dressing up in Krampus outfits and creating havoc. Krampus cards are also part of the tradition, usually displaying an image of the demon doing something evil with the accompanying written sentiment: “Gruß vom Krampus“ (Greetings from Krampus). 

 

My arrangement is inspired by the late 1920s dance bands, including a vocal harmony trio delivered with reverence to the Rhythm Boys, and a Venuti/Lang style modulatory break after the vocal chorus.

 

Vocal: Crytzer, Davis, Alexander | Solos: Terracciano (v); Davis (c); Fryer (tb)

 

THE KRAMPUS

Gruss vom Krampus!

What's that at the window?

Did you hear a call?

Was it in the garden?

Now I hear it in the hall.

I don't think it's Santa

Bringing lumps of coal.

 

Something, evil's lurking

Come to take your little soul.

 

Watch out for The Krampus.

He's an evil man.

He comes on Saint Nick's Day to take away the naughty children.

 

Better mind your manners.

Better not talk back.

Don't make a peep or when you sleep he'll stuff you in his sack.

 

With devil horns and a cloven foot

He's draped in chains and bells.

He might eat you for dessert

Or drag you down to hell.

 

Hope you cleaned your bedroom.

Hope you did your chores.

Or else tonight the Krampus might come knocking at your door.

 

Gruss vom Krampus!

18. THE LITTLE TREE

Glenn Crytzer (M & L)

 

There’s something special about the memory of that first tree of your own when you were starting out as a young adult. Maybe it was a little scrawny, a little lopsided and missing branches in a few places, but it was yours, and it felt like home. My arrangement on this tune is inspired by 1930s and 1940s style radio orchestra arrangements. I like to think that if Bing were still around, he’d have wanted to sing this one.

 

Vocal: Crytzer

THE LITTLE TREE

Do you still remember

Our very first December

And The Little Tree that we brought home?

It's shape was kind of funny,

for we hadn't so much money,

But we set about the task of making it our own.

I recall just how you

Arranged each little bough to

Conceal the spots where branches hadn't grown.

Then we nestled by the fire

Stringin' popcorn on a wire

And listening to carols on a dusty gramophone.

We had no gifts that year to place beneath our little tree.

We barely found a way to pay the rent.

We'd empty out our pockets just to buy something to eat,

But our hearts were full of love, and that was freely spent.

Well this year's tree is glorious,

With presents laid before us.

What a blessed life that we have sown.

But I get a little teary

Just remembering the year we

Brought inside The Little Tree that made our house a home.

19. THE DREIDEL SONG

Mikhl Gelbart (M), Samuel Grossman (L)

 

This arrangement was inspired by the driving force of the late 1930s Shaw band. To create a little arranging interest in yet another short-form composition, I interpolated, in the middle and at the end of the tune, a minor-key variation on the melody underpinned by a Freilach rhythm.

 

Solos: Rattman (as); Prover (t); Lichtman (cl)

20. KEEP A LITTLE CHRISTMAS IN YOUR HEART

Glenn Crytzer (M & L)

 

This was the first song written for the album and the inspiration to create this record. The lyric offers the sentiment that if we could keep a little bit of the spirit of love and giving in our hearts year-round, each of us would have a better life, and we would create a better world.

 

Vocal: Gill

KEEP A LITTLE CHRISTMAS IN YOUR HEART

Ev'ry​ year when sleigh bells ring our grace is magnified

Men behave like brothers, all our quarrels put aside.

If you want the world to be a place that lives in harmony

For more than just December,

Here's what you must remember:

If you'll Keep a Little Christmas in Your Heart all year,

You'll find that your worries all will disappear.

If you'll let yourself keep giving when the season fades

You'll find what you've given comes back to you in spades.

 

The world's gone mad we're tumbling down a slippery slope,

But each year winter brings a single glimmering hope:

 

That this Christmas may be merry, but in January

Each of us will our solemn part.

All you have to do is Keep a Little Christmas in Your Heart.
 

headshot_edited.jpg

Sam Hoyt has performed with a diverse roster of artists including Anthony Braxton, Jorge Ben Jor, Conjunto Clasico, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, and Harry Connick Jr. He also has played on countless jingles and recordings, in Broadway pit orchestra and at such venues including Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Blue Note, and Carnegie Hall.

Lead Trumpet

SAM HOYT

MikeDavis_Portrait_2015_jkratochvil_4566

Although he is not yet thirty, "eloquent trumpet prodigy" (Wall Street Journal) Mike Davis  has a voice beyond his years on his instrument. His playing is imbued with the sounds of Prohibition-era speakeasies, Hoovervilles of the Depression, and glittering jazz palaces of the swing era, creating a timeless cocktail of American music. A graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, Mike is among the vanguard of young musicians bringing traditional jazz to the forefront of the NYC music scene.

Trumpet, Cornet, Vocal Trio

MIKE DAVIS

DSC_3490_edited.jpg

Hailing from Florida and based in New York City, Jason Prover is one the jazz scenes most in demand trumpet players. He covers a wide range of genres including salsa, classical, soul, and pop music. A member of many different ensembles, you can find him leading his own “Sneak Thievery Orchestra” around NYC.”

Trumpet

JASON PROVER

Headshot.jpeg

Robert Edwards came to New York by way of West Palm Beach, FL. Following his graduation from New Jersey City University in 2008, he obtained his Masters at The Juilliard School.  He’s the winner of the 2018 Detroit Jazz Festival’s Curtis Fuller Low Brass/Trombone Competition.  Other professional highlights include tours with the Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Star Big Band and Roy Hargrove's Big Band.   He is currently professor of trombone and arranging at New Jersey City University. 

Lead Trombone

ROBERT EDWARDS

FryerActionColor.jpeg

Jim Fryer began his professional career playing traditional jazz trombone in the Boston area during the 1970’s. He has played gigs in many disparate genres, including Broadway, Salsa, Big Band, Classical, and many others. He has performed at Festivals the world over, including the Newport Jazz Festival, the Edinburgh Jazz Festival, and the Turner Classic Film Festival in Hollywood. As a longstanding member of Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks, Fryer recorded on the grammy-winning sound track compilation for the HBO series “Boardwalk Empire”. 

Trombone

JIM FRYER

2013 Hot Jazz Fest_edited.jpg

Joe McDonough is a freelance trombonist and tuba player in NYC who plays in a wide variety of jazz ensembles.  He also holds a faculty position at Temple University.

Trombone, Tuba

JOE MCDONOUGH

DennisStudio (278)1_edited.jpg

Dennis Lichtman is a multi-instrumentalist (clarinet, saxophone, mandolin, fiddle, and more) who has been at the epicenter of New York's traditional jazz and swing scene since founding the famed Tuesday night weekly jam session at Mona's Bar in 2007 that is "ground zero for an emerging late-night scene of young swing and traditional jazz players" (Wall Street Journal).  Lichtman has released six albums under his own name and as leader of Mona's Hot Four and the western swing sextet The Brain Cloud.

Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Banjo

DENNIS LICHTMAN

jay_edited.jpg

Jay Rattman is a freelance improvisor, composer and woodwind multi-instrumentalist based in New York City, originally hailing from Stroudsburg, PA. With a discography of over 30 records that includes "Urbanus" by Stefon Harris, nominated for the 2010 Best Contemporary Jazz Album Grammy, and “New Celebration,” the last big band album by NEA Jazz Master Phil Woods, his musical sensitivity and spontaneity have placed him in demand in a wide range of settings from contemporary classical chamber music to early jazz, klezmer, creative improvised music, straight ahead jazz and everything in between. He has performed at most of the major jazz clubs in New York in addition to the MoMA, the Coachella Festival, Red Rocks Amphitheater, the Late Show, and the Tonight Show. 

Lead Alto Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Clarinet

JAY RATTMAN

IMG_0038_edited.jpg

Dan Block's long career in the music industry has covered the full spectrum from artistic to commercial music.  In the traditional jazz scene he has performed as a member of Vince Giordano's Nighthawks and at jazz festivals and parties world-wide.  Dan also performs  frequently with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra under the direction of Wynton Marsalis.  He has worked as a Broadway pit musician for two decades and has recorded for numerous TV and radio commercials, films and television soundtracks.

Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Clarinet, Flute

DAN BLOCK

Matt_Promo-4.jpg

Matt Koza has played with the Artie Shaw Orchestra since 2000, and became its director in 2010. He has toured the United States, Taiwan and Brazil with the band, accompanying Tony Bennett, Jack Jones and Buddy DeFranco. Matt is active in the New York swing and traditional jazz scene, playing dances, concerts and festivals. 

Tenor Saxophone, Clarinet

MATT KOZA

pic_200_24_edited.jpg

Ricky Alexander is busy playing in New York City and around the world with various swing and traditional jazz bands. Following in the lyrical footsteps of Lester Young and Stan Getz, he portrays the joyous feeling of swing that makes you want to move your feet. He just released his debut album "Strike Up The Band" in July 2019.

Baritone Saxophone, Alto Saxophone, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Vocal Trio

RICKY ALEXANDER

DSC_9390 corrected.jpg

Bryan Reeder is a pianist and composer working in jazz, classical, and contemporary musics. He performs regularly in New York City, as well as throughout the United States and abroad. Reeder has released a number of albums, recorded music for film, and performed as a band leader at venues such as Bemelmans Bar at The Carlyle Hotel, Feinstein's, and Philadelphia's Kimmel Center. He is a member of Chris Norton's band with which he has performed at the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center, Joe's Pub, and numerous international engagements. He is the musical director and pianist for tony-nominated Euan Morton and together they have performed in concert at the Kennedy Center, The Algonquin Hotel's Oak Room, and the Morgan Library. 

Piano, Celesta

BRYAN REEDER

glenn__edited.jpg

Ian Hutchison's big sound and bouncing pulse make him one of the busiest swing era bass players in NYC. His passion is playing music for swing dancers, and he has taught music classes to dancers in the US and abroad.  Originally from Colorado, Ian studied bass at the University of Denver and enjoys hiking and rock climbing whenever he can make room in his chock-full gig schedule."

String Bass

IAN HUTCHISON

andrew millar_edited.jpg

Andrew Millar is a freelance drummer based in Brooklyn, NY. Originally from British Columbia, Canada, Andrew relocated to NYC  in February 2015 after receiving a BC Arts Council grant to study with the great Kenny Washington. A musician of immense taste and versatility, Andrew has established himself as one of the first call swing, trad and straight-ahead jazz drummers on the scene today."

Drums

ANDREW MILLAR

hannah_edited.jpg

Hannah Gill is a New York based, 22-year-old vocalist and lyricist. She has been writing and recording her own original music since she was 16. Along with her singer songwriter project, she is also involved in a number of other musical projects including Postmodern Jukebox, The Glenn Crytzer Orchestra, Gordon Webster and Friends, as well as her own jazz quintet. 

Vocal

HANNAH GILL

DW_edited.jpg

Dandy Wellington is a bandleader, entertainer, event producer, and creative consultant, born-and-raised in Harlem, New York. He’s performed around the world, at iconic venues including the Sydney Opera House in Australia, Lincoln Center in New York and The Roundhouse in London. Dandy has been featured in four books, two documentaries, and has made appearances on multiple television shows. 

Vocal

DANDY WELLINGTON

CBroussardPhoto-84_edited.jpg

Originally from Portland, ME, Gabriel Terracciano is an award-winning violinist and composer living in Brooklyn.  He holds degrees from Tufts University and NYU and has spent his career focusing on playing the violin in a variety of non-classical genres, including jazz, bluegrass, western swing, rock, and hip hop, among others.  In 2018, he joined the two-time Grammy award winning Turtle Island String Quartet.


Gabe received multiple awards throughout his career, including winning First Prize in the 2018 Freshgrass Fiddle Competition and Third Prize in the 2018 Zbigniew Seifert Jazz Violin Competition. His first album of original music, In Flight, will be released in 2020 on Red Piano Records.

Violin

GABE TERRACCIANO

MegOkura.TakaHarkness.2014.jpg

New York Times described Meg Okura’s music as "grandiloquent beauty that transitions easily from grooves to big cascades to buoyant swing." She is the 2018 winner of the Chamber Music America’s New Jazz Works Grant, and the leader and the founder of the Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble, which was chosen to be New York Times’ editor’s pick, Dan Bilawsky’s ALL ABOUT JAZZ Best Album of 2018, No. 4 Jazz Album of 2018 on Textura.com, among many others. 

A aative of Tokyo, Okura toured all of Asia as the concertmaster and soloist of the Asian Youth Orchestra. She moved to New York after making her solo debut at Kennedy Center as a teen, and studied violin performance at The Juilliard School. She switched to jazz upon earning MM degree, and toured with Michael Brecker, Steve Swallow, Tom Harrell, and has recorded with David Bowie, Lee Konitz, Diane Reeves, and others. In 2018, she has placed No. 6 Jazz Violinist in the International Critics Polls. 

Violin

MEG OKURA

8891+victoria_paterson-portait-credit-li

Victoria Paterson is a violinist in New York City, well-known & loved for her diversity and musicality. Equally comfortable with classical, modern and popular music, she performs everywhere from Carnegie Hall, Birdland, and Madison Square Garden, to Late Night with Seth Meyers, to The Today Show. Among the highlights are performances at Chelsea Clinton's wedding, for Pope Benedict XVI, Michelle Obama, Joe Biden, Diane Sawyer, Nancy Pelosi, the Cheif Rabbi of Israel, and more. She is the founder of the Lumiere String Quartet and the executive Director of the Mostly Modern Festival & American Modern Ensemble.

Violin

VICTORIA PATERSON

Caroline_edited.jpg

Caroline Drexler is a New York City based freelance violinist. As an orchestral musician, she holds a tenured chair with the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera and is a roster musician of the Chamber Orchestra of New York, in addition to performaning with many other ensembles. She performs chamber music with the Desdemona Ensemble, an ensemble dedicated to championing new musical works. 

Violin

CAROLINE DREXLER

IMG_2216_edited.jpg

Venezuelan violinist Francisco Salazar is a NYC based Juilliard graduate. He was a member of the Simon Bolivar Orchestra, and is currently a member of the Harrisburg Symphony. Mr. Salazar frequently solos with NYC ensembles and has played in Carnegie Hall, David Geffen Hall and others. 

Violin

FRANCISCO SALAZAR

Akiko pic 2018_edited.jpg

Born in Japan, Akiko Hosoi is a multi-faceted violinist who performs in New York and abroad. Akiko is a rostered member of many orchestras in NY and CT including concertmaster of the Greater Newburgh Symphony Orchestra. Equally passionate in teaching, Akiko is a founding partner of the Aspiring Young Musicians program to offer lessons to children of under-served Sullivan County and co-founded the Sullivan County Chamber Orchestra.  

Violin

AKIKO HOSOI

benni.jpg

Benni von Gutzeit, one of only a handful of jazz violists worldwide, was born in Bochum, Germany, into a musical family. He studied Jazz at the Conservatory Linz, Austria, at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam and did a Masters degree in jazz at Manhattan School of Music. He has performed with musicians such as Dave Liebman, Bobby McFerrin, Matthew Herbert, Linda Oh, Camila Meza and Mark Feldman. In 2012 he became the regular violist the Grammy-winning Turtle Island Quartet.

Viola

BENNI VON GUTZEIT

DSC_0112_edited.jpg

Tom Valdez is a freelance cellist and educator living on Long Island. After a recent move to New York, Tom has performed with Mostly Modern Projects, Music That Heals, and the Lost Dog New Music Ensemble. Tom currently works as an Education Specialist at the Long Island Violin Shop and maintains a healthy private studio.

Cello

TOM VALDEZ

trio_edited.jpg

On Broadway, Kathryn was the principal harpist for the 2018 production of Rogers + Hammerstein’s Carousel starring Renée Fleming. She has performed on Hello, Dolly!, Wicked, Rogers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, The Fantasticks, and The Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Kathryn can be heard on Duo Scorpio's Scorpion Tales and Two Bridges, Trio Kavak's Heirlooms, Rodger’s + Hammerstein’s Carousel Grammy® nominated 2018 Cast Album, Broadway’s Carols for a Cure, Zin! Zin! Zin! a Violin with music by Marvin Hamlisch, and jazz albums with Dan Weiss, Matthew Mitchell and Steve Newcomb. An avid promoter of new music, she is a founding member of Duo Scorpio and Trio Kavak and performs with Foundry and Wavefield ensembles.

Harp

KATHRYN ANDREWS

IMG_3914.jpg

Glenn is the mastermind behind this project and the leader of the merry band of musicians above. Since you already read his bio in the about section, his proportions for Charles Mingus' famously ambiguous recipe for Eggnog. 

Guitar, Banjo, Leader, Arranger, Songwriter, Vocals, Vocal Trio

GLENN CRYTZER

MINGUS-NOG

Charles Mingus

arr. Crytzer

Serves 8

8 Eggs

1/2 cup sugar

1.5 cups 151 proof rum

1.5 cups of brandy (or rye or scotch, but I like brandy)

2 and 2/3 cup of whole milk

1 and 1/3 cup of whipping cream

fresh nutmeg for garnish

optional: vanilla ice cream

1. Separate egg whites and yolks.

2. Slowly mix sugar and milk into egg yolks in large bowl

3.Very, very slowly mix the booze into egg/sugar/milk mixture. If you add it too fast it will cook the yolks and they'll congeal. Easy does it.

4. Mix egg whites and whipping cream in a separate bowl and whip with a hand mixer until you start to see soft peaks.

5. Combine mixtures in both bowls together and mix until consistent OR simply top the yolk mix with the whipped mixture. It's up to your preference.

6. Top each glass with fresh, grated nutmeg and enjoy.

7. Optional. Mix in ice cream to taste to keep it cold for guests or to add more sweetness. 

Disclaimer: Glenn takes absolutely no responsibility for the health consequences of your eating raw eggs or drinking this much booze and is not liable for your bad decisions or those of your friends, family, and coworkers. Please don't drink and drive at the holidays.