Border Widow’s Lament

border widow's lament

cunliffe - wind - horner

the new album by cunliffe, wind, and horner

 Jazz trio, Cunliffe, Wind, and Horner, are set to release their highly anticipated new album, “Border Widow’s Lament,” with Night is Alive Productions.

Featuring a trove of original compositions and a fresh arrangement of traditional classic, “Border Widow’s Lament” showcases Cunliffe’s exceptional musicianship and versatility as a performer. The album features an all-star lineup of artists, including Bill Cunliffe, Martin Wind, and Time Horner, who bring their own unique styles and personalities to the recording.

“Border Widow’s Lament” was mixed and mastered by Paul Tavenner of Big City Recording Studios and produced by Bill Cunliffe, with marketing and distribution by Kathy Salem and Night is Alive Productions.

Grammy Award-winning jazz pianist and composer Bill Cunliffe is known for his dynamic and expressive playing, and “Border Widow’s Lament” is no exception. From the opening track to the closing notes, the album is a powerful and moving tribute to the rich tradition of jazz music.


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Available soon!

the band

bill cunliffe

martin wind

tim horner

Ringing in a Jazzy New Years

Jazz music has a long and storied history, with its roots tracing back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the United States. It has evolved over time, incorporating a wide range of influences and styles, and has had a profound impact on popular culture around the world.

One of the key events in the history of jazz is the emergence of “jazz age” in the 1920s, which saw the rise of popular jazz musicians such as Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington. These musicians helped to popularize jazz and bring it to mainstream audiences, and their influence can still be felt today.

Jazz has also played an important role on New Year’s Eve, with many people turning to jazz music to help ring in the new year. From jazz clubs and dance halls to television and radio broadcasts, jazz has been a staple of New Year’s Eve celebrations for decades.

One of the reasons that jazz has remained so popular on New Year’s Eve is its ability to evoke a sense of excitement and celebration. The fast tempo and improvisational nature of jazz music make it the perfect accompaniment to the festive atmosphere of the holiday.

In addition to its role in New Year’s Eve celebrations, jazz has also had a lasting influence on other genres of music. Many modern artists, from pop and rock to hip hop and electronic, have incorporated elements of jazz into their music, helping to keep the genre alive and relevant for new generations of listeners.

Overall, jazz has a rich and varied history, and its influence can still be felt today, particularly on New Year’s Eve. Whether you’re dancing the night away in a jazz club or enjoying the sounds of a jazz band on the radio, there’s no denying that jazz is an integral part of the celebration of the start of a new year.

You can ring in the new year by listening to Night is Alive’s new album, Call Me Irresponsible, celebrating the Jazz of Jimmy Van Heusen.

Listen to the entire album on YouTube or on any of the major Streaming Services. 

Best Jazz Playlist for an Unforgettable Holiday Party

December is a special time for Holidays around the world (Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, Rohatsu, Ōmisoka, just to name a few) and we all know what that means: cookie baking, last-minute gift buying, and, of course, planning those annual Holiday parties! You are busy decorating the house, perfecting Pinterest charcuterie boards, and wrapping things up at the office so you can finally enjoy a few days off. As the big day approaches and you frantically arrange the finishing touches, you realize – this party needs a playlist!

Rather than just choosing a generic Spotify playlist, make your party stand out by including some of the best jazz Holiday hits, old and new. Your guests will be impressed and it’s guaranteed to leave an impression that will last them though the New Year.

Frosty the Snowman

  • Ella Fitzgerald

Christmas Ain’t Like It Used To Be

  • Night is Alive artists: John Di Martino, Andromeda Turre, Wayne Escoffery, Lonnie Plaxico, Willie Jones III

Here Comes Santa Claus

  • Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters

Happy Hanukkah, My Friend

  • Night is Alive artists: John Di Martino, Andromeda Turre, Wayne Escoffery, Lonnie Plaxico, Willie Jones III

Linus and Lucy

  • The Bill Cunliffe Trio

Sleigh Ride

  • The Ronettes

I’ll Be Home For Christmas

  • Night is Alive All-Stars

I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm

  • The Mills Brothers

White Christmas

  • Michael Bublé (ft. Shania Twain)

Blue Christmas

  • Night is Alive artists: John Di Martino, Lonnie Plaxico, Wayne Escoffery, and Willie Jones III

Carol of the Bells

  • Bill Cunliffe

Its The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year (vocals)

  • Patty LaBelle

Its The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year (instrumental)

  • The Bill Cunliffe Trio

Think we should add a song to this list? Send Night is Alive a message on social media!

For more of the best in Holiday Jazz, visit

Unwrap the Joyful Sounds of Christmas Jazz — A Look at the Best Christmas Jazz Albums!

Are you ready to be transported to a musical winter wonderland? If so, then you’ve come to the right place! Christmas jazz is a genre of music that combines the traditional melodies of the Christmas season with the upbeat, improvisational sounds of jazz. From smooth, soulful tunes to funky, jazzy beats, Christmas jazz has something for everyone. In this article, we’ll explore the history of Christmas jazz, take a look at some of the best Christmas jazz albums, and share some tips for choosing the perfect holiday jazz albums. So, let’s get started!

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Call Me Irresponsible




  1. 01 Shake Down the Stars 0:30
  2. 02 – Deep In A Dream 0:30
  3. 03 – Suddenly Its Spring 0:30
  4. 04 – Call me Irresponsible 0:30
  5. 05 – Imagination 0:30
  6. 06 – So Help Me 0:30
  7. 07 – I Could Have Told You So 0:30
  8. 08 – The Second Time Around 0:30
  9. 09 – Only The Lonely 0:30
  10. 10 – The Secret of Christmas 0:30
  11. 11 – Imagine (Reprise) 0:30


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John Di Martino — Musical Director, Arranger, Piano & Keyboards

Lucy Wijnands — Vocals

Harry Allen — Tenor Saxophone

Dave Stryker — Guitar

Peter Washington — Bass

Willie Jones lll — Drums

That Time of Year by Bill Cunliffe

That Time of Year by Bill Cunliffe

  1. Angels from the realms of glory Bill Cunliffe 0:30
  2. God rest ye merry, gentlemen Bill Cunliffe 0:30
  3. On Christmas day Bill Cunliffe 0:30
  4. Dance of the sugar plum fairy Bill Cunliffe 0:30
  5. Lo, how a rose e’er blooming Bill Cunliffe 0:30
  6. O little town of Bethlehem Bill Cunliffe 0:30
  7. O Christmas tree Bill Cunliffe 0:30
  8. We three kings Bill Cunliffe 0:30
  9. ‘Tis the season Bill Cunliffe 0:30
  10. Coventry carol Bill Cunliffe 0:30
  11. Jingle bells Bill Cunliffe 0:30
  12. Silent night Bill Cunliffe 0:30
  13. Carol of the bells Bill Cunliffe 0:30
  14. I’ll be home for Christmas Bill Cunliffe 0:30


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That Time of Year – Bill Cunliffe

Following review from All About Jazz

There’s always the danger of getting all schmaltzy with Christmas music, but jazz people are hipper than average and can usually come up with something appropriately cool to spin around holiday time. That’s exactly what pianist/composer Bill Cunliffe has done with That Time of Year.

Cunliffe is a versatile artist who is comfortable in any size ensemble—from his Blues and the Abstract Truth, Take 2 (Resonance Records, 2008) to his Grammy-winning arrangement on Resonance Big Band’s Plays Tribute to Oscar Peterson (Resonance, 2009)—but the Christmas mood finds him going it alone, showcasing his considerable piano chops on a set that opens with a contemplative and tranquil turn on “Angels From the Realms of Glory” which, rather than sounding hip, has a feeling of deep reverence.

It’s the second cut, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” that announces the jazz tinge to the music, with a bluesy, rollicking take on this familiar tune. “On a Christmas Day” brings in a stately atmosphere, a religious hue to the sound, leading into the crisp and jaunty “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.”

Cunliffe opens up that most familiar of Christmas tunes, “Jingle Bells,” as a ballad, before shifting into a jazzier gear, a high-RPM workout as cool as the Bill Evans Trio’s rendition of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” from Trio 64 (Verve Records, 1964). “Silent Night” is simply beautiful in Cunliffe’s hands, at a slower tempo that allows the savoring of every resonant note, while “Carol of the Bells” is edgy and dark-toned, until it slips into a bouncy stride piano groove.

The set closes with vocalist Denise Donatelli sitting in on “I’ll be Home for Christmas.” It is a wistful, soulful and hopeful late night close to an excellent Christmas set.

Night Is Alive’s First Christmas by the NIA All-Stars



  1. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – 01 – Night is Alives First Christmas 0:30
  2. What Child Is This – 02 – Night is Alives First Christmas 0:30
  3. Please Come Home For Christmas – 03 – Night is Alives First Christmas 0:30
  4. The Christmas Song – 04 – Night is Alives First Christmas 0:30
  5. Merry Christmas Baby – 05 – Night is Alives First Christmas 0:30
  6. Let it Snow – 06 – Night is Alives First Christmas 0:30
  7. I’ll Be Home For Christmas – 07 – Night is Alives First Christmas 0:30
  8. All Ye Faithful – 09 – Night is Alives First Christmas 0:30
  9. Have Yourself A Very Merry Chsitmas – 08 – Night is Alives First Christmas 0:30


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Colors of Jazz will be available THIS SPRING on Night is Alive’s website as well as all major online music platforms.


Lover and Love Songs by the WJ3 All-Stars





Lovers and Love Songs is a distinguished collaboration written and performed by several of the jazz industry’s top musicians. This collection of heartwarming melodies is the soundtrack to a modern-age love story that swept the web prior to the album’s release. Though you may have forgotten about these iconic tunes before now, they have been brought back to life in a new and inspiring way by Willie Jones III and his All-Stars. Join these world-class artists on a romantic journey through the ages and discover your own personal love story, the music a backdrop to your imagination.
"Lovers and Love Songs by the WJ3 All-Stars is one of my favorites!"
John Arvish
  1. I’ve Never Been In Love Before – 30Secs WJ3 All_Stars Buy Track 0:30
  2. First Time I Saw Your Face – 30Secs WJ3 All_Stars Buy Track 0:30
  3. I’m An Old Cow Hand – 30Secs WJ3 All_Stars Buy Track 0:30
  4. Gee Baby Aint I Good To You- 30Secs WJ3 All_Stars Buy Track 0:30
  5. From This Moment On – 30Secs WJ3 All_Stars Buy Track 0:30
  6. Here’s That Rainy Day – 30Secs WJ3 All_Stars Buy Track 0:30
  7. Cry Me A River – 30Secs WJ3 All_Stars Buy Track 0:30
  8. Jitterbug Waltz – 30Secs WJ3 All_Stars Buy Track 0:30


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Lovers and Love Songs is the soundtrack to a love story for the modern age. Two people with a long and stormy relationship that takes them from the deserts of the Rio Grande, to the fictitious river banks of the Cry Me A River, to the very real, jazzy streets of New York City. With a history of passing and colliding, will their ships ever set sail together for a final voyage, or are they locked in a spiral that will never culminate? The story is for you to tell, and the music is the backdrop to your imagination. 



It all started with an obscure card found in many strange places across many different locations; bar tops, tables, bathroom sinks, bus stops, and hotels, from California to New York, this little card traveled endlessly and found it’s way into people hands. The little note on the back? Well, that was up to you to figure that out, and boy did you ever. 

For those who did decide to go down the rabbit hole, their first stop was at an obscure website for The Rio Grande Diner, who boasted, “The Best Food In The Middle Of Nowhere.”

Not much is known about the RGD other than it was a place two young lovers would frequent. 

If you waited long enough, a small hint would appear on the Rio Grande website that lead you to our female protagonist’s Instagram: Neverbeeninlovebefore.

Here is where we got to know our first actor a little better. Roberta is a young, vibrant woman who has ever known only one true, great love in her life. A man named Colin, who loved her the same. For whatever reason, however, their romance never seemed to coalesce.


After following the Instagram account for several weeks, you would have been filled in with some of the backstory which would culminate in a new revelation: a hotel confirmation. What exactly did this mean? Those who studied the image closely would be able to discern a new web address and that address led them to the Cry Me A River Hotel. Here users could even sign in and watch some of the events unfold as the check in date grew closer. 

Our last step sent users trekking through forests, investigating audio files and decoding binary and base64 snippets. The end result would lead them to the twitter profile of our Male protagonist. Colin, a young man from the west with commitment issues, would soon regret his decision to leave our stranded at the Cry Me A River Hotel. Inundated with his own second guessing, he goes back online to locate the woman he stood-up.

Following Colin’s trail, the user ends up in the music forum, “From This Moment On.” This is a place where industry insiders and newbies discuss all things songful. Colin reaches out to the folks on the forum to see if they know the where-a-bouts of the lady he left behind. It’s not long before someone recognizes the person he’s looking for and point him in the right direction. 

Connected again through social media, Colin and Roberta, attempt to work things out. One more chance is given and a date is set. The question is, how does it end? Is love eternal without bonds, or can it be forgotten and left to history?

The one thing that is certain is the music, the sound track to our love story, is very real. Crafted by truly legendary jazz musicians, the WJ3 All-Stars, the album Lovers and Love Songs provides the perfect backdrop for any evening when romance is either within arm’s reach, or a million miles away.

You can buy the album directly at the Night is Alive Online Shop. The new album is also available on streaming and online retail services such as Apple Music, Google Play, Amazon Music, Spotify, and many more!

Christmas in the Dog House by Bill Cunliffe



  1. Bill Cunliffe Trio – Christmas In The Dog House – 01 – Ding Dong Merrily On High Buy Track 0:30
  2. Bill Cunliffe Trio – Christmas In The Dog House – 02 – Christmas Is Coming Buy Track 0:30
  3. Bill Cunliffe Trio – Christmas In The Dog House – 03 – Merry Christmas Darling Buy Track 0:30
  4. Bill Cunliffe Trio – Christmas In The Dog House – 04 – Snow Buy Track 0:30
  5. Bill Cunliffe Trio – Christmas In The Dog House – 05 – On This Day Buy Track 0:30
  6. Bill Cunliffe Trio – Christmas In The Dog House – 06 – It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year Buy Track 0:30
  7. Bill Cunliffe Trio – Christmas In The Dog House – 07 – Linus And Lucy Buy Track 0:30
  8. Bill Cunliffe Trio – Christmas In The Dog House – 08 – Go Tell It On The Mountain Buy Track 0:30
  9. Bill Cunliffe Trio – Christmas In The Dog House – 09 – Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence Buy Track 0:30
  10. Bill Cunliffe Trio – Christmas In The Dog House – 10 – Hark The Herald Angels Sing Buy Track 0:30


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Jazz pianist, composer and Grammy-winning arranger Bill Cunliffe is known for his swinging and lyrical pianism and for his agility and inventiveness in melding jazz with the classical and pop genres. He performs around the world as a leader and sideman as well as a soloist with symphony orchestras.

Renowned New Zealand classical pianist Michael Houstoun recently recorded Cunliffe’s jazz arrangement of the Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 3, first movement, on the album “Concerti,” with the Rodger Fox Big Band (Rattle, 2015). Cunliffe served as co-producer, musical director and arranger of legendary singer Freda Payne’s jazz album “Come Back to Me Love” (Mack Avenue, 2014). His choral piece “She Moved Through the Fair,” commissioned for L.A. professional choir the Golden Bridge, received its premiere in September 2015.

Cunliffe wrote the score for the 2011 film “On the Shoulders of Giants,” Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s homage to the Harlem Rens basketball team of the 1920s and ’30s. The movie received a 2013 NAACP Image Award for Best Documentary. Cunliffe’s soundtrack was nominated for Best Album.

His own recent recordings include the trio album “River Edge, New Jersey” (Azica, 2013) and his solo-piano take on traditional Christmas tunes, “That Time of Year” (Metre, 2011), described as a “tour de force” in the Los Angeles Times. Cunliffe received a Grammy for Best Instrumental Arrangement for his “West Side Story Medley,” on the album “Resonance Big Band Plays Tribute to Oscar Peterson” (Resonance, 2009). His four other Grammy-nominated works include his concerto for trumpet and orchestra, “fourth stream … La Banda,” performed by Terell Stafford as soloist with the Temple University Symphony Orchestra (BCM+D, 2010).

Cunliffe was the 1989 winner of the Thelonious Monk International Piano Competition. He is a professor of music at Cal State Fullerton and also teaches at the Vail Jazz Workshop and the Skidmore Jazz Institute.