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So, What Are You Listening To NOW?


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One of the finest jazz Christmas compilations ever made.  So many great musicians and, for the most part, really swinging performances.  Here you have Lionel Hampton, Benny Goodman, Johnny Otis, Victoria Spivey, Fats Waller, Woody Herman, Count Basie with Jimmy "Santy Claus, Santy Claus, Listen to my plea" Rushing.  The original LP had 15 tracks and ends with a recording of Jack Teagarden (who sounds like he was perhaps extra full of "good cheer" at this session) singing "The Christmas Song".  Just beautiful -- it is a performance which is the very musical depiction of "good will to all".  The CD has 23 tracks, dropping some from the original LP (although why they kept Al Bowlly singing "Every Day's a Holiday" baffles me) and adding others.  The CD, fittingly enough, begins and ends with Louis Armstrong -- first as member of Clarence Williams' Trio (huh -- that's how it's listed on the LP, but on the CD it is credited as Clarence Williams' Blue Five, which is more credible) performing this compilation's namesake song and finally his 1971 recording of the poem, "The Night Before Christmas", a recording guaranteed to put a great big smile on my face and some tears in my eyes every time I hear it.

Edited by duaneiac
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Earlier today:


An excellent recording of a dance date at Mather Air Force Base in 1960. The band is deliciously loose and swinging. Wonderful!

The "vibe" of Hot Summer Dance reminds me of Vols. 2 & 6 in The Private Collection, recorded in 1958. (Coincidentally, these two volumes were also recorded at a dance in California -- at Travis AFB.)

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