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The 442s come ‘Home for Christmas’ with a new collaborative CD and holiday spectacular concert

"Home For Christmas" by The 442s and Peter Martin
Alex Heuer | St. Louis Public Radio
"Home For Christmas" by The 442s and Peter Martin

In just more than four years, The 442s have become known for their unique sound that blends elements of classical, jazz and folk music, as well as other genres.

The relationship between and among those genres can now be heard on the group’s new Christmas CD, “Home for Christmas.” And, if one thinks of the sound of The 442s as one that borrows from various genres, the group’s latest work borrows from the talents of several St. Louis musicians including pianist Peter Martin, percussionist Montez Coleman, trumpeter and vocalist Jeremy Davenport, and vocalists Brian Owens and Erin Bode.

Two of the four members of The 442s – Adam Maness and Bjorn Ranheim – in addition to Peter Martin joined contributor Steve Potter to talk about the new CD and about The 442s Holiday Spectacular concert at 7:30 p.m. Tues. Dec. 20 at the 560 Music Center in University City. Advance purchase is recommended.

“Interesting musicians and artists gravitate toward each other regardless of the genre,” said Peter Martin. “It’s a lot of fun for us all to work together on a musical level and on a personal level. We have a lot of good times.”

Indeed, the musicians refer to themselves as a sort of St. Louis music collective.

“We always joke amongst at least all of us and everybody that we’re collaborating with, that we’re all part of each other’s projects,” said Bjorn Ranheim, a cellist who's also a member of the St. Louis Symphony.  

Composer and arranger Adam Maness, who plays guitar, electric piano, celesta, glockenspiel and accordion on the new CD, said the recording session – which happened in June – took only a day and a half.

“Everybody was so good that it was kind of one of those press record and go kind of records,” Maness said.

The CD features 10 tracks and includes versions of mostly well-known Christmas standards such as, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “Blue Christmas,” “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” and “O Tannenbaum.” There’s also a version of “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” that the musicians described as “not so precious.”

However, in one precious surprise, the packaging of The 442s new CD opens into a decorative ornament.

St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary EdwardsAlex Heuer and Kelly Moffitt give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.

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Alex is the executive producer of "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.