20 Classic Jazz Christmas Songs

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Blue X-mas (To Whom It May Concern) (Miles Davis)
Christmas Night In Harlem (Louis Armstrong)
What Child Is This? (Greensleeves) (John Coltrane)
Christmas Island (Ella Fitzgerald)
River (Herbie Hancock)
A Merrier Christmas (Thelonious Monk)
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White Christmas (Charlie Parker)
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I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm (Billie Holiday)
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The Christmas Song (Wynton Marsalis)
Christmas Time Is Here (Count Basie)
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Santa Claus Came In The Spring (Benny Goodman)
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Homecoming Jingle Bells (Dave Brubeck)
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Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (Bill Evans)
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Winter Moon (Stan Getz)
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Jingle Bells (Duke Ellington)
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Brazilian Sleigh Bells (Harry James)
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Christmas Swing (Django Reinhardt)
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Christmas Waltz (Oscar Peterson)
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Swingin Them Jingle Bells (Fats Waller)
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Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! (Woody Herman)

What better way to get into the swing of Christmas than with a playlist of classic jazz Christmas songs? All your favourite jazz musicians are here including Miles Davis, Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Charlie Parker. While most of the rest of us tend to lose our well balanced heads over the holidays what is notable from these jazz greats is how they rarely lose theirs. So Davis’ ‘Blue X-mas (To Whom It May Concern)’ is a serious piece of music that takes no heed of the general festive mayhem all around and instead focuses on ensuring that everything is in its right place. A serving for those who normally scoff at superficial Christmas material then. Louis Armstrong is a little less studied in his approach on Christmas Night In Harlem’ but the sense of class just oozes from its every pore.

The Bird (Charlie Parker) plays it loose and free wheelin’ on his Christmas morning broadcast of Bing Crosby’s all time classic ‘White Christmas’. The composition doesn't suffer in the least from being an instrumental and given the pep in its step it is perfect tinder for getting you up early on those frosty Christmas mornings. For something a little different, but no less velvet, you should try the short but sweet ‘Brazilian Sleigh Bells’ by trumpet great Harry James from way back in 1950. It may stop short of introducing a samba beat but boy does Harry kick out the brass jams like no other. Similarly fleet of foot and from a distant 1936 is Fats Waller’s ‘Swingin Them Jingle Bells’ which was recorded in roaring New York which might account for its wholly combustible nature.

Published by SpiritOfXmas |
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