Album: Chris Squire's Swiss Choir
Artist: Swiss Choir
2007 Stone Ghost Entertainment
CD: CV 009

Chris Squire: bass, vocals inc. baritone solo (4, 6), tenor solo (11)
Steve Hackett: guitars (1-12)
Gerard Johnson: keys (1-12)
Jeremy Stacey: drums (1-12)
Alan White: drums (13)
The English Baroque Choir (1-12), conducted by Jeremy Jackman
Amy George: soprano solo (11)
Laura Macara: additional vocals (10)

Produced and arranged by Chris Squire and Gerard Johnson
Recorded and mixed by Greg Jackman
Assistant engineer: Mark Neary
Guitars recorded by Roger King
Recorded Sep/Oct 2007

except (13)
Recording engineer: Nigel Luby
Mix engineer: Greg Jackman
Produced by Chris Squire and Alan White

Art by Alan & Pam Giana
Photography by Hugh Gilmour
Special thanks to Scotland Squire
Dedicated to Andrew Pryce Jackman

1. Adam Lay Ybounden [m: Boris Ord, arr. Squire/Johnson; l: trad. (English 15th Century)] (6:45)
2. I Saw Three Ships [trad. (English), arr. Squire/Johnson] (4:12)
3. O Come O Come Emmanuel [m: trad. (French 15th Century), arr. Squire/Johnson; l: from the "Great O Antiphons" (12-13th Century), translated by JM Neale] (2:25)
4. Silent Night/ Night of Silence ["Silent Night": Gruber/Mohr, arr. Squire/Johnson; "Night of Silence": Daniel Kantor] (8:13)
5. Ding Dong Merrily on High [m: trad. (French 16th Century), arr. Squire/Johnson; l: GR Woodward] (5:48)
6. The Three Kings [m: Peter Cornelius, arr. Ivor Atkins, additional arr. Squire/Johnson; l: Cornelius/Nicolai, translated by HN Bate] (15:54)
7. Sans Day Carol [trad. (English), arr. Squire/Johnson] (5:00)
8. Personent Hodie [m: trad. (German 1360), arr. Gustav Holst, additional arr. Squire/Johnson; l: from "Piae Cantiones" (1582)] (3:35)
9. Sussex Carol [trad. (English), arr. Squire/Johnson/J Jackman] (6:20)
10. Gaudete [from "Piae Cantiones" (1582), arr. Squire/Johnson] (5:28)
11. In the Bleak Midwinter [m: Howard Darke; l: Christina Rossetti] (3:48)
12. Past 3 O'Clock [trad. (English), arr. Squire/Johnson/J Jackman] (5:46)
13. Run With the Fox [Squire/White/Sinfield, orchestrated by Andrew Pryce Jackman, additional vocal arrangement by Johnson] (4:15)

Notes: Having spent decades on his second solo album, Squire managed to do his third so quickly it was out before work on the second was even finished! Having left The Syn, Squire continued with the team of Gerard Johnson and Paul and Jeremy Stacey. Squire, Johnson and P. Stacey began working on the long-awaited second Squire solo album, but with P. Stacey away, busy with The Black Crowes, Squire decided to use the time. As Squire explains in a Nov 2007 Notes from the Edge interview:

I was talking to I think it was somebody in Tenth Street Management at the time [some time in 2007]; think somebody was trying to come up with ideas about what myself, and Alan, and Steve to be doing while Jon was on his holidays, you know, and I think somebody came up and said, "Why don't guys do a Christmas album like Mannheim Steamroller or something," and I said I'm really not familiar with that stuff. But just for the matter of interest I looked them up and had a listen, and I kind of thought it was a little cheesy, honestly, so I went back to them and said no, I don't think that's the right kind of thing for Steve, myself, and Alan to be looking at.

However, Squire re-visited the idea and came up with a plan to combine the carols he sang in his childhood with a prog rock backing. Squire contacted his long-time friend Jeremy Jackman, choir master and brother of the late Andrew Jackman. Johnson also had carol experience and they set about the arrangements. Jeremy Stacey had a studio and played drums. Third brother Greg Jackman engineered. Squire approached both Jeff Beck and Brian May to play guitar, but neither was available. At J. Stacey's suggestion, he approached Steve Hackett. The combination was a success and Hackett stayed to do the whole album and brought Squire on to his next rock project. The album was recorded in two months (Sep/Oct) and released in Nov, initially only through Squire's website, but then through some online retailers and as a digital version. There was a digital-only "single" of "Gaudete" b/w "Run with the Fox".

"Run with the Fox" is a new version of the 1981 Squire & White Xmas single. Without a multi-track recording available, Squire and Johnson just remixed the single and added on some choral parts.

The liner notes use the same font as for Fish Out of Water.

Many fans on the album's release were dismayed at how little it was like Fish Out of Water. This is no bass-heavy prog album, and yet it does reflect other sides of Chris Squire's music: the choral singing of his childhood and his collaboration of many years with the Jackman brothers (with Johnson standing in for the late Andrew Jackman). The album mainly has the choral parts to the fore, with Squire taking a number of solos. Rarely has he sounded better as a singer. The concept—traditional carols with a rock backing—takes some getting used to, but at best the combination works well. Some pieces stick closely to the original ("Silent Night/Night of Silence"), while others have more prog rock injected ("Adam Lay Ybounden"). In all, it's Stacey's drumming that I find jars the most, while I only wish Hackett had had more time to develop his contributions as there are some interesting parts. (HP, 23 Feb 08)

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