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vibes

Christmas Jazz

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I'm a big fan of Christmas music, and am looking to expand my collection of Christmas jazz. I would appreciate recommendations, especially for items currently in print.

Here are a few things I either have or am looking to buy soon:

Ella Fitzgerald - Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas

Kenny Burrell - Have Yourself a Soulful Little Christmas

Vince Guaraldi - Charlie Brown Christmas

Jimmy Smith - Christmas Cookin'

Ramsey Lewis - The Sound of Christmas

What else is out there?

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Not exactly jazz but the Booker T. & the MGs Christmas record is fantastic. "Jingle Bells" is also included on the first Stax box set (the black one).

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I recommend this every year but Joe Pass' SIX STRING SANTA is a good one. It was released on Laserlight label and can be found for about $6.

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Eric Reed has a new Christmas album on MaxJazz out. Haven't listened to it yet but will post a quick review as soon as I do.

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One of my favorite holiday recordings that you might not be familiar with is An Uptown Christmas. Recorded between 1984 and 1988 for the Uptown label, it features the likes of Frank Wess, Charlie Rouse, Johnny Coles, Claudio Roditi, Tommy Flanagan, Kenny Barron, Jack Sheldon, Sahib Shahib, Carl Fontana, Al Cohn, Richard Wyands, Walter Davis Jr., Barry Harris, Don Sickler, and Maria Muldaur. 'Tis the season to swing!

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Edited by jazzshrink

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How about Duke Pearson, "Merry Ol Soul?" I have never heard it, but am planning to buy it when it comes out on JRVG. It will also be on the Pearson Mosaic due out soon.

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the CDs that get lots of time in the changer:

Have Yourself A Jazzy Little Christmas-Various Artists (Verve)

Blue Yule-Various Artists

Yule Struttin', A Blue Note Christmas-Various Artists

:tup

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JazzShrink knows of what he speaks.

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There's a nice version of White Christmas on the Conn. of Booker Ervin's Structurally Sound.

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Jimmy Ponder's Guitar Christmas on High Note is pleasant listen and is unlikely to frighten anyone. Has Don Braden, John Hicks, Dwayne Dolphin amd Cecil Brooks.

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One of my favorite holiday recordings that you might not be familiar with is An Uptown Christmas. Recorded between 1984 and 1988 for the Uptown label, it features the likes of Frank Wess, Charlie Rouse, Johnny Coles, Claudio Roditi, Tommy Flanagan, Kenny Barron, Jack Sheldon, Sahib Shahib, Carl Fontana, Al Cohn, Richard Wyands, Walter Davis Jr., Barry Harris, Don Sickler, and Maria Muldaur. 'Tis the season to swing!

:o Oooooh!

This looks like a good one. :tup

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Oddly, the one Wynton Marsalis CD that I REALLY like is his Crecent City Christmas Card. I always smile during "Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow", where after Jon Hendricks sings "And I've bought some corn for popping" he slips in "Poppidity Poppidity Pop".

Any CD with Eartha Kitt singing Santa Baby can't be that bad either...

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It will probably get slammed here but I have Rick Braun's Christmas Present which I like.

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Cruising Half.com earlier I saw a Christmas CD from Jimmy McGriff.

Anyone heard this one?

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Just heard the Shorty Rodgers Big Band doing the Nut Cracker Suite. A fine holiday listen!

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Really, I dislike Xmas music immensely. Way too much of it heard as a kid. .. being a PK has some hazards.

That said, I'll echo the admiration of "Crescent City Christmas Card," and the Duke Pearson which is amazingly hip. And I really like Marcus Roberts' "Prayer for Peace."

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I just picked up this one:

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This is the first time I've ever heard a Stan Kenton album. First impressions? This is some of the liveliest Christmas music I've ever heard. Both my wife and I thought it sounded like a marching band. Are all Kenton albums like this? Anyway, the sound is pretty good, but I think it'll take a little while for this one to grow on me.

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Vibes, that's one of my favorite Christmas albums, but I like Stan Kenton!

In my view, Kenton's best albums were recorded in the fifties. The Xmas LP was about '62 I think. Contemporary Concepts from '55 (I think) was re-released recently, and I recommend it.

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If you like country music?

I'd recommend the Buck Owens and Hank Thompson Christmas CDs on Sundazed. Re-issues of the Capitol albums. The Hank Thompson IT'S CHRISTMAS TIME was just re-issued this year!

They both have a nice sense of humor. :g

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Just got the Uptown Christmas CD from Chuck several weeks ago & will vouch for it as well. :tup The Joe Pass mentioned earlier is also good, and I can't wait to hear the Pearson once the new Mosaic Select arrives.

The Bill Evans Verve box has a very funny version of "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" on which Evans sings. That's one of my alltime favorite holiday jazz tracks.

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The Bill Evans Verve box has a very funny version of "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" on which Evans sings. That's one of my alltime favorite holiday jazz tracks.

I just got through playing that for my wife, so it's funny that you should mention it. It is very fun to listen to.

I wish he would have recorded some other Christmas tunes. I have four different versions of him playing "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," but have never heard of him doing any other Christmas-related material. I've often wondered why he liked this particular song so much...

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My top pick is Jingle Bell Jazz on Columbia. It’s actually a two-fer combining the previously issued God Rest Ye Merry Jazzmen and Jingle Bell Jazz. One undocumented bonus; Dexter Gordon’s “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” contains about two minutes of playing edited from the version issued on God Rest Ye.

· Dexter Gordon “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”

· McCoy Tyner “I’ll Be Home For Christmas”

· Arthur Blythe Quartet “The Christmas Song”

· Heath Brothers “Our Little Town”

· Paquito D’Rivera “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”

· Wynton Marsalis Quintet “We Three Kings Of Orient Are”

· Duke Ellington “Jingle Bells”

· Lionel Hampton “White Christmas”

· Carmen McRae “The Christmas Song”

· Pony Poindexter “Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer”

· Dave Brubeck Quartet “Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town”

· Lambert, Hendricks and Ross “Deck Us All With Boston Charlie”

· Miles Davis “Blue Xmas”

· Herbie Hancock “Deck Halls”

Prestige Christmas Collection is also worth a quick mention.

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Ho ho ho :lol:

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Tjazz, thanks for the tip on the Buck Owens and Hank Thompson Christmas albums. I'll have to get those soon. :tup

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Here's one I stumbled across over at CDBaby.com

Rick Gallagher: A Sleigh, a Song, and a Baby Boy

A Must have collection of freshly rearranged Christmas classics performed by a swinging, yet sensitive trio with percussion.

Rick Gallagher is a jazz pianist, composer, arranger and teacher. A native of Pittsburgh, he began his musical studies at age ten, and started his piano training at age sixteen. He received a bachelor's degree in music from Duquesne University, and studied with David Budway for eight years.

Gallagher is noteworthy for his classic jazz style, creative arrangements, and his memorable originals. His influences include Herbie Hancock, Horace Silver, Red Garland, Vince Guaraldi, Bill Evans, Benny Green, Ray Brown, Miles Davis, George Shearing, and David Budway.

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