John Paris | The Heart of Christmas

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Holiday: Easy Listening Jazz: Piano Jazz Moods: Type: Instrumental
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The Heart of Christmas

by John Paris

This album is comprised of Jazzy and melodic piano solo renditions of classic Christmas songs as well as two originals by internationally renowned solo pianist John Paris. It express the joy of the season and the deep love that is felt by everyone.
Genre: Holiday: Easy Listening
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. The First Noel
3:56 $0.99
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2. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
3:43 $0.99
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3. What Child Is This
4:16 $0.99
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4. Jingle Bells
3:59 $0.99
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5. Away in a Manger
2:39 $0.99
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6. We Three Kings
3:27 $0.99
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7. All Through the Night / Silent Night
6:06 $0.99
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8. Up On the Housetop
2:34 $0.99
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9. It's Time for Chirstmas
4:47 $0.99
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10. O Come All Ye Faithful
4:16 $0.99
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11. Toyland
3:21 $0.99
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12. Together (At Christmas Time)
4:18 $0.99
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13. Angels We Have Heard On High
4:28 $0.99
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14. O Christmas Tree
3:53 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Music has always been a very special part of my life. It has been my healer, mentor, doorway to spiritual evolution and comforter. I hope that on your journey here, you find these same qualities and that your visit is rewarding and uplifting.

On this cd you will find my original fusion of New Age and Jazz beautiful solo piano music which I have written and performed to be spiritually uplifting, healing, relaxing and rejuvenating. These pieces and arrangements of Christmas classics came to me spontaneously in a flash of inspiration. I simply open my heart to the Divine Sound Current and let my fingers express what comes through. The music combines New Age melodic sensiblility with Jazz harmonies and rhythms to create a new sound. I hope you feel the love I have pit into these arrangements of Christmas classics.

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Reviews


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Cathy Oakes

Review By Enlightened Piano Radio
I can think of many words to describe “The Heart of Christmas” by John Paris. But I will stick to only two. Absolutely DELIGHTFUL! His “jazzy” style breathes new life into these Christmas tunes. A Christmas CD is, perhaps one of the most difficult projects for a musician to attempt. Everyone else has done one and we all have a limited number of pieces from which to choose. It is difficult to record these pieces with originality. But Mr. Paris has done that beautifully. His style gives a whole new flavor to the traditional music of Christmas. As a matter of fact, I was enjoying listening to this CD so much that I had difficulty settling down to actually write the review.

As I was listening to these pieces, I found myself tapping my toes, clapping along and fighting the urge to get up and dance. From the lullaby feel of “Away in a Manger” to the “rock the house” sound of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and “Jingle Bells,” John expresses the mood of this wonderful season with flare and great taste. His mixture of sacred and traditional tunes, some we remember from childhood, interspersed with his beautiful original pieces really does express the heart of this wonderful season with all the best things of Christmas brought to mind. He is true to the melodies while inserting original harmonies and rhythms that make these pieces uniquely his.

From the first chords of “The First Noel,” the listener knows that this is not just another Christmas album. “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and “Jingle Bells” will have you snapping your fingers and clapping your hands! The haunting melody of “What Child Is This?” comes to life with fresh harmonies and beautiful accompanying patterns.

The lullaby feel of “Away in a Manger” is established with the first rocking patterns in the left hand and continues throughout the piece, leaving the listener with a feeling of peacefulness and restfulness. The changing rhythms in “We Three Kings” and the driving bass in the chorus give a whole new flavor to this seasonal favorite.

It is very hard to choose a favorite among these tracks. But, I think, perhaps my very favorite is Track 7, “All Through the Night/Silent Night.” I love the way John weaves these two pieces together, using beautiful harmonies and portraying the peace of that first “Silent Night” so perfectly.

The walking “boogie-woogie” bass of “Up On the Housetop” is enough to make old St. Nick, himself do a jig around the chimney! The smooth sound and beautiful melody of John’s original piece, “It’s Time for Christmas” makes it the perfect piece to accompany an evening relaxing in front of a cozy fire and enjoying the twinkling lights of the tree. Mr. Paris’ version of “O Come, All Ye Faithful” expresses joy that is refreshing in this piece and then, he returns the listener to the wonder and excitement of a child in “Toyland.”

The next track, another beautiful original piece by John, is “Together (At Christmas).” It brings to mind the wonderful, warm feeling of being surrounded by those we love at this wonderful time of year. His rocking version of “Angels We Have Heard on High” brings to mind a vision of angels literally dancing on the clouds. He finishes this delightful album with his arrangement of the German folk song “O Tannenbaum” or, as we know it – “O Christmas Tree.” - a wonderful tribute to what has become, perhaps the most popular symbol of this glorious season.

John Paris has recorded a superb CD that perfectly expresses “The Heart of Christmas.” It is original, tasteful, beautiful and in every way, a most enjoyable listening experience. I give this CD five (5) stars and highly recommend it. Excellent work, Mr. Paris! Outstanding in every way!
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Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
"The Heart of Christmas" is a collection of twelve traditional and two original songs of the season arranged for solo jazz piano by John Paris. Calling his playing style jazz and new age fusion, this album is quite a bit jazzier than Paris’ previous three recordings. Paris says that these arrangements came “spontaneously in a flash of inspiration.” He explains his creative process as: “I simply open my heart to the Divine Sound Current and let my fingers express what comes through.” It seems an impossible task to come up with fresh versions of the Christmas classics, but Paris has done just that. The melodies are very recognizable, expressing love, joy, reverence and playfulness in a song-list that includes sacred and secular carols that will bring listening enjoyment for many holidays to come.

"The Heart of Christmas" begins with “The First Noel” in an arrangement that is both tender and a bit edgy - an intriguing start. “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen” gets an infectious swing treatment that will have your toes tapping in no time. Love it! “What Child Is This?” begins as a slow, dark and moody piece but gradually evolves into a much more rhythmic and lighthearted celebration - a very unusual arrangement that really works! The fast and bluesy “Jingle Bells” all but dances right out of the computer (or MP3 player)! “Away In a Manger” is a sweet lullaby in a more new age style while “We Three Kings” swirls and twirls in an expression of pure joy - another favorite! The only medley on the album combines “All Through the Night” with “Silent Night” in a musical nod to a perfect peace - quiet and very beautiful. “Up On the Housetop” overflows with fun and laughter. “It’s Time For Christmas” is the first of the two original compositions and has the feeling of a romantic slow dance. “Together (At Christmas Time)” is the second original - a sweetly romantic love song that could support lyrics but doesn’t need them with a melody that says so much. The other four titles are “O Come All Ye Faithful,” “Toyland,” “Angels We Have Heard on High” and “O Christmas Tree,” all of which are exceptional!

"The Heart of Christmas" is highly recommended!
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