Mark Christopher Brandt

December Moment (2014)

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Mark Christopher Brandt: acoustic piano

Shaun Jurek: acoustic bass

Russell Lucas: drums

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About December Moment (Released November 30, 2014)


In 2008, Mark put together a classic jazz trio of piano, bass and drums which began to work regularly throughout the Washington D.C., Virginia and Maryland area.  It was that trio which recorded Mark’s 2010 release Worth the Wait.  During a brief period when Dan and Mark were contemplating drummers and bass players for No Explanations, Mark took this trio for a spin and produced a now classic jazz Christmas album, which received a glowing review in Downbeat Magazine the year it was released. The bass player, Shaun Jurek, was the same on both trio albums with Russell Lucas replacing Nate Panning on drums for December MomentNo Explanations dissolved before a band sound involving bass and drums could be solidified.  December Moment is credited to the NE discography.  The title track, mentioned in the review, gives a hint as to where the band might have gone in direction and sound.


Downbeat Magazine's December 2014 Review of December Moment

by Bobby Reed


Because most adults have heard them hundreds of times, it's easy for straightforward renditions of Christmas classics to overstay their welcome. Fortunately, on December Moment, the trio No Explanations puts a premium on brevity. The album includes pithy arrangements of 16 familiar chestnuts, half of which are less than two minutes long. Pianist Mark Christopher Brandt, bassist Shaun Jurek and drummer Russell Lucas have crafted a peaceful album that combines religious and secular tunes.


Brandt wrote all the arrangements, adding surprising twists and fluid improv segments to "O Little Town Of Bethlehem" and putting Jurek's bass in the spotlight for a concise, 85-second rendition of "We Wish You A Merry Christmas." The title track, which is the only original tune here, was spontaneously composed in the studio and illustrates the musicians' simpatico approach. This is a fine album for nighttime listening, when you're in the mood to relax and reflect, long after the kids have gone to slumberland.


Album Tracks

1. O Come O Come Emanuel

2. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

3. The First Noel

4. Angels We Have Heard On High

5. Silent Night

6. We Three Kings

7. It Came Upon The Midnight Clear

8. Jolly Old Saint Nicholas

9. O Christmas Tree

10. Jingle Bells

11. O Come All Ye Faithful

12. O Holy Night

13. O Little Town Of Bethlehem

14. Away In A Manger

15. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

16. We Wish You A Merry Christmas

17. December Moment


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