Also available in the CHRISTMAS COLLECTION box set with CHRISTMAS, A FRESH AIRE CHRISTMAS and CHRISTMAS IN THE AIRE.
Mannheim Steamroller: Chip Davis (arranger, conductor, recorder, drums);
Ron Cooley (guitar, lute, bass); Arnie Roth (violin); Roxanne Layton (recorder, horn); Bobby Jenkins (oboe); Jackson Berkey (harpsichord).
Additional personnel includes: Johnny Mathis (vocals); The University Of Michigan Men's Glee Club, The Soli Deo Gloria Cantorum Women's Choir (background vocals).
Engineers include: John Richards, Hank Neuberger, Roger Arnett.
Principally recorded at O'Henry Sound, Burbank, California; University Of Michigan Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan; Chicago Recording Company,
Chicago, Illinois. Includes liner notes by Louis Stout.
Digitally remastered using HDCD technology.
Personnel: Johnny Mathis (vocals); Ron Cooley (guitar, lute); Kathleen Brauer, Pauli Ewing, Elliott Golub, Linda Oper, Laura Miller, Florentina Ramniceanu, David Hildner, Peter LaBella, Everett Zlatoff-Mirsky, Marlou Johnston, Ronald Satkiewicz, Rika Sekko, Blair Milton, Clara Lindner, Arnie Roth, Michael Shelton (violin); Marlise Klein, Bobby Swan, Elizabeth Holzman, Karl Davis (viola); Judy Stone, Barbara Haffner (cello); Roxanne Layton (recorder, crumhorn); Chip Davis (recorder, drums); Lawrie Bloom, John Bruce Yeh (clarinet); Bob Morgan (oboe, horns); Bobby Jenkins (oboe); George Vosburgh (piccolo trumpet); James Smelser, Greg Flint, Alice Render, Dale Clevenger (French horn); Mark Fisher (trombone); Charles Vernon (bass trombone); Jackson Berkey (harpsichord).
Audio Mixers: Chip Davis; Brian Ackley.
Liner Note Authors: Chip Davis; Louis Stout.
Recording information: American Gramaphone studios; Chicago Recording Company, Studio 4; Hill Auditorium, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI; O'Henry Studios, Burbank, CA; Thu University Of Downstairs.
Photographer: Dwight Cendrowski.
Unknown Contributor Role: Soli Deo Gloria Cantorum.
Arranger: Chip Davis.
Chip Davis has been yoking his electronic keyboard skills to Yuletide musical themes for enough years to have become a cottage industry, and his 2001 offering under the long-standing Mannheim Steamroller name, CHRISTMAS EXTRAORDINAIRE represents no dip in quality. Davis wisely plays to his huge, faithful audience's expectations by providing simple, straightforward instrumental versions of such well known Christmas classics as "Silver Bells," "Do You Hear What I Hear," and "White Christmas." The focus of the arrangements is, of course, Davis's own poignant, extremely melodic synthesizer work, neither as grand as the Yanni/Tesh school, nor as introspective as George Winston-style new-agers. While vocal tunes are in the minority in the Mannheim Steamroller catalog, pop icon Johnny Mathis does turn in a nice cameo on the old holiday chestnut "O Tannenbaum," adding an effective change of pace.