Behind the Song

Martin Mayer

"Carol Of The Bells"

"Carol of the Bells" has been a favorite of mine ever since I started playing piano at age 11. My mom always loved the tune and it was a way for our family to ease into the holidays before getting inundated with all the hoopla of the season. In the late 90s, a really cool arrangement of this tune was done by Emmy-winning musician John Tesh and Grammy-winning violinist Charlie Bisharat. I loved that version so much I played it on my very first sold-out tour of China in 2001. When the pandemic shut live music down earlier this year, I knew making music was still important, regardless of whether it was being performed in concert. Then someone suggested to make some Christmas music to help people get in the holiday spirits. So, I reached out to Tesh and Charlie, whom I'd since become friends with, and asked for their blessing to take a new spin on their original arrangement. It was a wild ride recording this tune, and even more-so listening to the mix once Ross Pallone - mixing engineer to Michael McDonald, Prince, Tesh, and others - put his magic touch on it. Wherever you may be this festive season, and whatever the year may have sent your way, I hope my version of "Carol of the Bells" puts you in the best of holiday spirits!

- Martin Mayer

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