Jazz Christmas Like You've Ever Heard
- Artist: Lee McClure
- Format: CD
- Release Date:12/9/2008
Margaret Dorn - vocals Chris Hunter - soprano, alto, tenor saxes & flute Bob Albanese - piano & organ Ratzo Harris - bass & E.bass Tony Moreno - drums & congas Lee McClure - conductor, composer, arranger Vocalist Margaret Dorn is an award winning singer, composer, arranger who has worked in all avenues of the music field. With two solo CDs released in Europe and songs recorded by artists worldwide (Karen Carpenter, Hiromi Ota, Longhouse, Sweet Inspirations, Tom Jones), Margaret has performed for international audiences. Her producing credits include her own solo CDs, "Little Noises"- and 5 CDs for her award winning a cappella group, The Accidentals (national champions!) She has worked with a variety of artists including Celine Dion, Bette Midler, Jessica Simpson, Jennifer Lopez, Patti Austen, Ashford and Simpson, Jean-Michele Jarre, Lionel Richie, Donald Fagen, Boz Scaggs, Michael Feinstein, k.d. lang, Willie Nelson, Barry Manilow, Carly Simon, Diana Ross and The Chieftains. She has written scores to several musicals, most recently "Faraway Bayou" (featured in the 2006 NAMT festival) and the revue "Women of a Certain Age" It was 1983 when the late great Gil Evans uprooted saxophonist Chris Hunter from his native London, England to join the now legendary Monday Night Orchestra. He has been one of the leading New york saxophone players for more than twenty years, recording and performing, as featured player, with a vast spectrum of artists, including Michel Camilo, Michael Franks, The Manhattan Transfer, Robben Ford, Hiram Bullock, Tania Maria, Flora Purim and Airto Moreira, Teo Macero, Alex Blake, The Manhattan Jazz Orchestra, George Gruntz's Concert Jazz Band, Sting, Incognito, Jonathan Butler, Larry Coryell, Jaco Patorius as well as being chosen soloist on themes for some of TVs most prestigious shows including Oprah, Regis and Kelly, The Koppel Report, The New York Yankees, and countless others. 'Astonishing solos, an exuberant wonder' (The Guardian) - 'A sound that cuts through like a sabre slashing velvet curtains, Chris Hunter takes no prisoners' (Downbeat Magazine). With a Masters from Manhattan School of Music, pianist Bob Albanese has composed works for philharmonic orchestra, numerous pieces for Jazz Orchestra, and jazz tunes. Bob has performed with Anita O'Day, Buddy Rich, Cab Calloway, Freddie Hubbard, Branford Marsalis, Warne Marsh, The Duke Ellington Orchestra, Bob Mover and Rita Moreno, among many others. In 2001 Bob was selected to serve the U.S.A as a Jazz Ambassador and led his band, Café Simpatico, in performances and workshops in war-torn former Yugoslavia. His 'Samba Esperanca' was performed in 2006 by the Cincinnati Conservatory Philharmonic. He has toured throughout the U.S, Hawaii, Europe, Japan, Russia, South America, Mexico and the Caribbean. Bob's first solo album as songwriter, pianist and vocalist was 'The Love Within' for Tropicool Jazz label. His third album as a leader is 'One Way Detour' with Tom Kennedy (bass), Willard Dyson (drums) and guest soloist Ira Sulivan. In 2009 Bob will embark on a series of solo concerts in Europe. Bass player Ratzo B. Harris has worked for some of the greatest musicians in jazz, including: Les Paul, Jon Hendricks, Kenny Werner, Ted Curson, Cal Tjader, Bobby Hutcherson, Bruce Arnold, John Handy, Betty Carter, Jim Pepper, Joe Henderson, Randy Brecker, Denny Zeitlin, and Elliot Sharp. He has also been a Thelonious Monk Competition semi-finalist, National Endowment for the Arts recipient, contributing columnist for Bass Player magazine, and on-air host for WFYI-FM in his hometown, Indianapolis. Although he dropped out of high school to pursue his music career, he recently earned a Bachelor of Science degree in music from CUNY and a Master's degree in jazz history from Rutgers University. Mr. Harris teaches privately. Drummer Tony Moreno's international performing and recording career includes being a member of Jurgen Friedrich's trio performing in Germany, Switzerland and the U.S. Tony's webcasts include two Mordy Ferber Quartet "Live at the Blue Note" sessions with Dave Liebman/George Garzone and Eddie Gomez/Richard Bona. Tony performs with Bruce Arnold in Spooky Actions with John Gunther and Dave Phillips, who have made three recordings. Their latest release is "Music of Arnold Schoenberg". The group performed twice in Moscow. Other tours include: -"Tribute to Elvin Jones" 2005-06 (Spain and France) with Frank Lacy and Sonny Fortune -Timucin Sahin Quartet with Greg Osby 2005 (Istanbul and Azerbaijan) -Gene Ess: "One World Tribe" with Ravi Coltrane -Fred Favarel: "The Search" with Richie Beirach, Tim Ries, Mark Feldman and Erik Friedlander. Tony is a member of the faculty at New York University and Columbia University. Lee McClure is the album's composer, arranger, and co-producer. A native of San Francisco and resident of NYC since the 70's, Lee's compositions and performances on the electric flute are characterized by strong melodic writing and his unique use of traditional harmony that has a complex emotional depth that appeals to all audiences. His classical oeuvre includes two operas, orchestral, choral and chamber works. With librettos by the Pulitzer-prize-nominated playwright Ron Whyte, the operas are 'Mother And Child' and 'VOICE.' His 'Synphony No.1' is for jazz drummer and symphonic orchestra. Other major works include his orchestral poem 'Cerulean Narrows', the ballet 'Suite from The Voyage' for 4-hand-piano, and the choral work 'Litany To The Holy Spirit' premiered by The Gregg Smith Singers. Since 1990 he's been developing a repertoire of originals and re-compositions of classical and jazz standards for electric flute which he designed. He performs solo as a one-man-band providing all the music for the Eclectix Dance Company which he created in 2007. Always mixing the best of different styles, Lee's opera 'Mother And Child', which premiered at the Cathedral St. John The Divine, used all pop singers featuring jazz singer Judi Silvano. It was reviewed in The New York Times by Bernard Holland who wrote 'McClure's music is...eclectic...from Broadway to sentimental pop ballad to angry instrumental harmonies to a recitative style that at times implies total dissonance. This is truly an embryo of a production waiting to be born.' McClure is the founder and director of the new-music concert series, Eclectix, which has presented the music of over 100 living composers in New York City since 1985. The New York Times has identified Eclectix as the 'group dedicated to presenting melodic music in the tradition of Debussy, Gershwin, and Ellington' and describing Eclectix concerts: 'Most of this repertory grew out of a tonal, melody-accompaniment tradition, and a lot of it by way of American popular culture.' The Eclectix Chamber Orchestra's premiere of McClure's composition, HIATUS, won the praise of The New York Times critic Tim Page who declared 'it was probably the most distinguished piece on the program: the harmonies had bite and the musical ideas seemed both organic and Mr. McClure's own.'