German composer/arranger and bandleader Chris Walden, who has written over 400 arrangements for big band and symphony orchestra throughout his career, penned his own jazzy version of Foster’s “Winter Games” in tribute to the Winter Olympics.
In a followup to his 2005 Grammy-double nominated Home of My Heart (for Best Large Ensemble album and Best Instrumental Arrangement), Walden has taken his Los Angeles-based big band into new territory by recording the just-released Winter Games. The album contains only two tracks of the same theme music; track two is an edited version shortened by 41 seconds for radio. The first track is the complete version of the theme “Winter Games” that is bold and brassy with a splendid solo from Brandon Fields on tenor.
To make this seven-minute disc, Walden brought together some very accomplished musicians, all veterans of the West Coast big band scene. Included are such top-notch players as reedist Kim Richmond and Tom Peterson, trumpeters Wayne Bergeron and Ron King, and trombonists Bob McChesney and Andy Martin. These are but only a few of the notables who comprise his LA big band.
David says about Walden: “Chris’ arrangement of “Winter Games” is both beautiful and inspiring. He thoughtfully and masterfully adapted my piece into an exciting genre that I never thought possible. Either he’s incredible or I’m a jazz musician after all – or both!!”
Chris has been recently hired by David Foster to write and conduct string arrangements for the upcoming Renee Olstead album.