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Christmas Tunes


What's your favorite jazzy rendition of a Christmas song?  

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Believe it or not, though I'm not Christian and do not celebrate Christmas, I have a great love of Christmas and other seasonal tunes. So indulge my penchant for polls (it's been a while now) and pick your favorite jazzy christmas rendition.

Besides the above, I also thought notable 'others' for your consideration might be any of the following, all of which I've heard jazz versions of:

Adeste Fideles

A Child Is Born


Joy to the World

Here Comes Santa Claus

Santa Claus is Comin' to Town

Edit: My favorite is a current Dianne Reeves rendition of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Edited by cannonball-addict
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The Christmas Song - easily the most musically interesting of any seasonal tune I've heard. Stevie Wonder had a smokin' version used in a Target commercial of all things.

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas - Dexter Gordon does a timeless take on this.

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I voted for Christmastime is Here. Back when I could remember the first couple of chords, I would sit down at a piano (somewhere in public) and play the familiar song. That would get everyone's attention and everyone would smile and come over to the piano. Then I would drift off and say, "Sorry, I only know the first few chords." I did the same thing with a guitar and Stairway to Heaven in Japan and got a very polite round of applause after trailing off about eight chords in.

My favorite Christmas recording is of a December 25th, 1971 Modern Jazz Quartet concert, with guest Paul Desmond. They open with a nice Greensleeves waltz, play a couple of standards, then do a funky, psuedo-sleighbell-driven Jesus Christ Superstar. The recording is on the Red Baron label and is truely one of Paul Desmond's finest moments (so much so, that John Lewis fought for years to have it released).

Edited by DTMX
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I generally don't like Christmas tunes, but has anyone heard "Jingle Jangle Jump"? The only version I'm aware of is on the Black Lion album, "Citizens Bop" by Dexter Gordon & Wardell Gray. Someone named Gladys Bently does the vocal, and it's really GREAT.

I never thought I would say that about a Christmas tune......but there you go.

Of course, there's always "Blue Xmas", the Bob Dorough/Miles Davis tune. That's not half bad, either.

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I voted for "Christmastime is Here", not only because of Guaraldi, but because I've always loved the version that (guitarist) Ron Eschete recorded back in the 80's on his CHRISTMAS IMPRESSIONS (Bainbridge). I love the tasty changes, and usually stumble through it (solo guitar arrangement) at least once every xmas season.

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It's weird but right after I started this poll, I started looking into the great BFT Big Al sent and most of the tunes he included on the "enjoy" christmas CD are not on this poll. silly me. I really like "In Ecelsis Deo," and "Santa Claus is Comin to Town."

I'm pretty sure one of the tunes on the Christmas BFT disc is definately Dexter doing something mentioned above.

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  • 3 years later...

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