One December many years ago, Ben found himself with nothing but a harmonica to play Christmas carols on. The harmonica worked fine for "Joy To The World" and "The First Noel" but when it came to "God
Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" (which is in a minor key), the harmonica (which is pitched major) wouldn't do it. Consequently, there was no alternative but to play "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" in a major key.

When Panorama started getting calls a few years ago to play Holiday gigs, Ben made an arrangement and we recorded it on our last session.

The track starts out in the traditional minor key with a solemn, reverential type of English cathedral tone but, after one time down, Patrick with his banjo and Doug on the floor tom cut in and we find ourselves in a New Orleans street party. Then, while Steve on tuba and Doug on drums divide up a half-clave pattern, Ben delivers the head on clarinet with Matt chasing after him on the accordion. After a two-way thing between Matt and Aurora on alto sax, Ben and Charlie (trombone) get into it. At the top of the last chorus Ben lays down a tambourine part to kick up the party before recapping the head (on clarinet) and pulling back into the slow minor to take it out.

The holidays are a time to party and in New Orleans folks do it their own way. So wave your hands up in the air and celebrate Christmas like ya just don't care!


from Song​-​of​-​the​-​Month Club: Good Music For You, released May 1, 2015
Recorded November 11th, 2014 @ Gasa Gasa, New Orleans, LA.
Ben Schenck - Clarinet, Tambourine overdubs
Aurora Nealand - Alto Saxophone, Shaker
Charlie Halloran - Trombone
Matt Schreiber - Accordion
Patrick Mackey - Tenor Banjo
Steve Glenn - Tuba
Doug Garrison - Drums

Written and produced by Ben Schenck
Session engineered at Gasa Gasa and track mixed at Listen Up! Studios by Michael Seaman
Graphic design by Daniel Murphy and Ben Schenck with additional
graphics by Charlie Zeleny
Cover photo by Greg Miles


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Panorama Jazz Band / Panorama Brass Band - New Orleans New Orleans, Louisiana

"New Orleans' genre fluid jazz band"

The Panorama Jazz Band and the Panorama Brass Band have been working steadily in New Orleans and beyond since 1995. Many hundreds of nightclub gigs, festivals, weddings, crawfish boils and Mardi Gras parades have added to this community of musicians' collective experience, all of which they bring to each of their recordings. ... more

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