An eclectic musical holiday journey that begins in Advent and ends in Epiphany with a blend of original and traditional carols beautifully sung.
Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Johnny Schaefer continues his eclectic tradition with a stunning collection of seven original and eight traditional carols that take the listener on a musical journey from Advent through Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Epiphany. His rich baritone is heard in styles ranging from classical to jazz to pop ballads to fifties rock and roll, all with a holiday twist. There are somber moments and joyful moments, moments of humor and moments of nostalgia. There's even a Carlos Santana-style song about the Hispanic tradition of the Rosca de Reyes, or Kings Cake.
Johnny again works with Grammy-nominated harpist Carol Robbins, who played on his Acoustic Remedy album, as well as renowned organist Christoph Bull, Producer, arranger, and all-around musician Stephan Oberhoff, producer/arranger/musician George Reich, composer and singer Lynn Kowal, guitarist Chad Ellis, drummer Sean Winchester, singers Wenndy Mackenzie, Lisa Ulanday, Eileen Rogers, Jennifer Steers, Louie Ulanday, Ellie Schaefer, Lynn Kowal, and Jude diStefano, Cellist Hope Easton, drummer, Tim Pleasant, Bass player Darek Oles, and songwriter/author Elizabeth Massie.
The album was recorded in diverse settings ranging from SPS Studios and the John Williams Scoring Stage at the USC School of Cinematic Arts to the First Congregational Church in Los Angeles to a makeshift basement recording studio in his home on Mt. Washington in Los Angeles.
The title of the album, From Here to Nativity, implies a journey and the album certainly lives up to the promise. We begin on a ledge with the wind blowing and an ancient advent carol echoing through the canyons: "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" and end in the manger with the animals singing of the gifts they gave Emmanuel. In between, we encounter a jazz waltz treatment of the popular carol, "O, Holy Night", a song written and sung by Johnny from Joseph's point of view, beloved carols and some confections as well. There is certainly something for everyone here.
If you love good Christmas music, Johnny Schaefer's "From Here to Nativity" is an essential addition to your collection which you will enjoy for years to come.