Uploaded By: Doug Morgan . Added on: 20 December 2012.
THE BEGINNING OF THE END....... Gee whiz it's Christmas
The members of the band were Fred Henfield on bass guitar, Leroy Munnings - lead guitar, Frank Munnings - drums, and the youngest member Raphael Munnings - vocals and keyboards. Together they came up with the music of "Funky Nassau" which sold over a million copies worldwide. After months of experimenting with various fusions, the band was ready to present their brand of Bahamian music to the world. In addition to the rhythm section, the band used a few horn players that contributed to the sound of the group. Those musicians were: Neville Sampson, Vernon Mueller, Kenneth Lane and two other relatives, Ralph Munnings and Freddie Munnings Sr.
The New Year brought in the urge to record this new sound, and in 1970 Percy Munnings, the uncle of the young Munnings brothers, after relentlessly being hounded, yielded and provided a $2,000 advance to the group to assist them in cutting the record. With cash in hand, these fine musicians were joined by Neville Sampson on trumpet and Ralph Munnings (cousin) on sax in a recording session in Miami, recording "Funky Nassau" and "Gee Whiz It's Christmas" on the B-side of the record. The Criteria Recording Studio at the time only had 8 tracks, and did a wonderful job in capturing this new sound.
With no sophisticated editing machines in those days, the live performance was done eight times in total before being satisfied with the end product. Upon their return to Nassau a few days later, the 5,000 copies of the 45rpm record were sold out in less than two weeks. It is worthy of mention that Jeff Scavella who was the first to play the song and Charles Carter another influential radio DJ contributed to the success of this record on the local scene. As anticipated, the song "Funky Nassau" took a back seat to "Gee Whiz It's Christmas" which was done in a junkanoo style, and the rest as they say is history.
Swiss pianist Sylvie Courvoisier and NYC violinist Mark Feldman have been collaborators for more than fifteen years.Their music involves an integration of modern classical, avant-garde jazz, and European improvised styles. Sylvie...