Moon Dance
Written by Van Morrison
Arranged and Produced by Ray Hix
Horn Arrangement by Jonathan Hunkins and Ray Hix

Moon Dance

Lisa Rankin: Vocals
Ray Hix: Guitar, Violin

The Story Behind This Recording:
Moon Dance is my wife 's favorite song. Whenever we are at a musicians party with friends, Diane always asks me to play Moon Dance. This song is always a crowd pleaser. It appeals to a wide range of multiple genres of music fans. I thought it might be fun to record my own arrangement of this tune.

The Music:
With so many different versions of this song performed over the years, I wanted to incorporate my favorite elements.
I love hearing big band arrangements of this song. I had considered doing a "strings" version of a big band arrangement, just to be different. Then I heard a horn arrangement by Jonathan Hunkins on the Internet. His arrangement was so good, that that was the sound I wanted to have. The horns I used are based on Jonathan's arrangement, plus some of my original ideas.

I have noticed that a lot of big band arrangements of Moon Dance tend to be played at a faster tempo to make the horns sound cool. The problem is that speeding it up detracts somewhat from the sensuousness of the vocals and lyrics. In this version, I tried to keep the tempo similar to the Van Morrison original, while adding the big band horns, and more of a walking, jazz bass.

The vocals are by Lisa Rankin, an old friend of mine from Florida. I remember how much she loved this song when I knew her in Florida. When I found her web site with her partner Galan, sure enough, she had already posted her version of Moon Dance. I think her voice was just what this arrangement needed.

Both Lisa and I have added some original signatures to this arrangement. I've always liked the way Lisa phrased the "Can I just have" lyric from the chorus. I also like the cool rhythm guitar pattern that I use for the second verse. And naturally, I wanted to add some Guitar and Violin "features" (solos). No one listens to Moon Dance to hear guitar shredding; I dialed the solos back a little in this song, trying to create melodic lines that enhance the feel of the music.

In addition to my Guitar and Violin, it took the following instruments to get this Big Band sound:
Piano, Bass, Drums, 4 Saxophones, 4 Trumpets, and 4 Trombones.

You can
You can also Phone Ray at 510 525-7470

Back to Lyrics Index
Ray's Music Site | Ray's Spiritual Growth Site

Copyright 2018 Ray Hix