Monday, December 22, 2008

a quick one

And now, a seasonal entry from

Doc Nagel's Top 100 Things

14. Jazz versions of Christmas tunes. I just love 'em.

By jazz versions, I here mean a fairly wide swath in the territory from blues to swing to big band to crooner to hard bop.

A few of these are well-known, of course. For instance, I think most folks know (and if they don't they should) Louis Armstrong's Zat You, Santa Claus?". Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Ella Fitzgerald, Eartha Kitt, Etta James, Ramsey Lewis, and dozens of other jazz or jazz-influenced musicians have recorded joyful, swinging, spiffy X-mas numbers.

We own copies of two of the best jazz holiday albums, Jimmy Smith's rollicking, and sometimes overwhelming Christmas Cookin' and Vince Gauraldi's soundtrack for A Charlie Brown Christmas. I've yet to pick up a new Christmas jazz album this year, but I know which one I want: Joe Pass's Six String Santa. Might need to look that up on iTunes.

1 comment:

Bobo the Wandering Pallbearer said...

MJQ did a fair amount of that, including my very favorite instrumental version of "God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen." I used to listen to George Winston's December on a regular basis, until I obtained and listened to his album covering Guraldi's material, which he stomped flat. I haven't listened to December since.