Dec 19, 2011
Chet Baker was late in his career when he recorded an album of holiday inspired tunes, Silent Nights: A Christmas Jazz Album for folk label Rounder. The album mixes blues ("Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen") and hymns ("Amazing Grace") with more standard Christmas fare. The band for the 1995 release included Baker on trumpet ,Christopher Mason - Alto Sax, Mike Pellara - Piano, Jim Singleton - Bass, and Johnny Vidacovich - Drums.
"The First Noel" (also written The First Nowell) is a traditional classical English carol, most likely from the 18th century, although possibly earlier The word Noel comes from the French Noël meaning "Birthday", which in turn is from the Latin natalis. The melody is unusual among English folk melodies in that it consists of one musical phrase repeated twice, followed by a variation on that phrase. All three phrases end on the third of the scale. The refrain, also unusually, merely repeats the melody of the verse.