1. The Heart of the Holidays (3:55) (Laurie Z.) - Written and performed by Laurie Z. This is a modern, orchestral/symphonic composition that easily holds its own next to the Christmas songs we all know by heart ... Strings & synth sounds underscore a light keyboard sound.
2. What Child is This? (3:08) (Trad. Arr. Laurie Z.) - Laurie’s stunning modern keyboard work and unexpected syncopation of this traditional holiday classic combine New Age, Classical & Latin influences. (Albe Bonacci accompanies on Drums)
3. Mo'oz Tsur (3:29) (Trad. Arr. Laurie Z.) - A modern and warm interpretation of this traditional Chanukah song, "Mo'oz Tzur Yeshu'osi" (aka: "Rock of Ages") (Alan Palmer accompanies on Soprano Sax)
4. Carol of the Bells (2:42) (Trad. Arr. Laurie Z.) (Also known as the "Ukranian Carol") - Orchestral and Symphonic. Light hearted, yet reverent.
5. Warmth From Within (3:00) (Laurie Z.) - "Warmth From Within" is a modern original composition, celebrating the spirit of the season and capable of calling to mind feelings and memories of holidays past. Written and performed by Laurie Z., the song was inspired by the oil painting by wildlife impressionist Jesse Anderson and portrayed in the cover art of the original CD.
6. Deck The Halls (Trad. Arr. Laurie Z.) /Angels We Have Heard on High (3:48) (Trad. Arr. Laurie Z.) - This is a joyful, festive, & bright medley of two traditional classics.
7. Sivivon (3:08) (Trad. Arr. Laurie Z.) - This is a modern and warm interpretation of the traditional Chanukah song. Sivivon (S'veevon) is the Hebrew word for "Dreydel" (meaning "to turn"). Beautiful and deeply felt, solo piano is underscored with strings & synth sounds.
8. The Night Before Christmas (3:40) (Poem by Clement Moore, Music by Laurie Z.) Jack Palance, narration - With Laurie Z. softly playing in the background, this is Jack Palance's delightful reading of Clement Moore's classic poem "The Night Before Christmas." Destined to become a novelty classic.
Heart of the Holidays (book with accompanying CD with music by Laurie Z.)
Sheryl L. Roush
2007/2008 Sparkle Press
Review by Kathy Parsons
“Heart of the Holidays” is a charming and uplifting collection of recollections, poems, and quotations about the holiday season. Author Sheryl Roush is a motivational speaker and trainer who has written and compiled ten books so far. Two of them, “Heart of a Mother” and “Heart of the Holidays,” have included music CDs to accompany the text. The “Holidays” CD contains eight pieces from Laurie Z.’s 2001 “Heart of the Holidays,” her joyful, beautiful, (and tragically her last) collection of holiday music.
The book itself has six chapters: “Thanksgiving,” “Christmas,” “Yuletide Around the Globe,” “Hanukkah,” “Winter Solstice,” and “Ringing In the New Year.” The majority of essays, poems, and quotes come from American women, but there are thoughts and ideas from men and women from around the world, several different cultures, and various faiths. Some of the stories about the holidays are fairly commonly-shared experiences while others are deeply personal. Some are funny and some are heartwarming, but all were selected to share and uplift the true spirit of these various holidays and celebrations. A few writers shared interesting traditions from their own families that could prove meaningful to others. I especially liked one parent’s suggestion that before any gifts can be opened on Christmas, the recipient is required to express something he or she is grateful for. Sometimes these kinds of books can be a bit too sugarcoated, but I really enjoyed this one, and it got me thinking about the memorable Christmases of my own life.
The accompanying CD contains eight selections: two of Laurie Z.’s originals, two Chanukah songs that Laurie arranged, her arrangements of “What Child Is This?” “Carol of the Bells,” a medley of “Deck the Halls” and “Angels We Have Heard On High,” and Jack Palance’s smile-making reading of “The Night Before Christmas.” It’s a wonderful sampler of Laurie’s music. (The full-length CD is still available at most online music outlets, and my review of the full album is at www.MainlyPiano.com.)
This is a lovely book that would make a great gift. Pick one up for yourself too, and bask in the warm glow that comes from sharing the special times of the season. It is available from www.sparklepresentations.com.
Musicians Contribute their gifts of music in memory and tribute to Laurie Z:
Heart of a Mother
Music Audio CD to accompany published Book
Sparkle Presentations, Inc., Sparkle Press, and WorldSound Productions, Inc. have joined hearts and efforts to create a new MUSIC AUDIO CD to accompany the book, Heart of a Mother, by Sheryl Roush. Truly a unique and diverse collection, nine well-known musicians have lovingly contributed their gifts in memory and tribute to the life of Laurie Z. Also included on the CD are two songs by Laurie Z., For The Love of a Child and All The Love In The World.
Every effort is being made to keep Laurie's music at the forefront and Zebra Productions thanks all the Artists for their heartfelt contributions.