"Joy to the World: An International Christmas" - As the title implies, this CD takes you on an international tour to a number of countries which are the origins of some of our best-loved Christmas gems. From the Eastern flavor of "We Three Kings" to the throbbing beat of African drums in "Rise Up, Shepherd and Follow," each change of pace and style is refreshing and keeps you coming back to this collection over and over.
- O Come All Ye Faithful - Performed in a strong, traditional style, start to finish.
- Coventry Carol - Originating in the 16th century, this piece was part of the "Mystery Plays" depicting the Christmas story. Its plaintive lyrics carry the somber message of a mother who has lost a son in Herods "Massacre of the Infants."
- Rise Up, Shepherd, and Follow - While it starts out with patient rubato, suddenly the African jungle beat takes over letting you know where this piece came from.
- Surely He Hath Borne Our Griefs - From straight out of Handel's "Messiah," this rendition is very traditional though not totally literal since Jerry applies his unique touch to the piano transcription.
- Miniature Overture - From the opening notes of Tchaikovsky's overture, you can't help but think "Christmas." For those whose tradition is to take in an annual performance of "The Nutcracker Suite," these are the first notes that are heard.
- A Quiet Hillside - Jerry's strong propensity toward impovization comes through strongly in this basically pianistic medley of Christmas carols depicting the shepher's relaxing on the Judean hillsides, including "While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks."
- We Three Kings - From the tambourine to the Oriental flutes and oboe, this arrangement places you in the middle of the Far East from start to finish.
- Go Tell It On The Mountain / God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen - "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen" is appropriatelyset in a Baroque style with provides interesting contrast to the big band jazz flavor of "Go Tell It On the Mountain."
- Russian Dance - Like the "Miniature Overture," this rendition from the "Nutcracker Suite" is true to its roots. However, Jerry takes it probably 15% faster in tempo, compressing 1,004 notes into 64 seconds!
- A Quiet Manger - An antecedent movement in the same style and peaceful mood of "A Quiet Hillside."
- Joy to the World - Like the opening piece, this arrangement utilizes full orchestra in a very traditional vein.
- Jesu, Noel - This gentle piece has its origins in France. But Jerry blends in a little Germanic flavor with the contrapuntal interweaving of Bach's " Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring."
- Hark, the Herald Angels Sing - The style of this arrangement is probably totally unexpected with its subtle Latin undercurrent and delightful jazz syncopations in the melody.
- O Holy Night - Jerry has probably arranged "O Holy Night" a dozen times. But here he chose to go with a strong orchestration of this highly traditional favorite of the season. The grand finale finish is appropriate for its position in this Christmas project.