Dec 2, 2011
For today's song, Paquito D'Rivera (alto sax) and John Miller (bass) duet on the classic "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen". You can fin the track on the straight-ahead jazz compilation God Rest Ye Merry Jazzmen on CBS Records. Click here to listen to the tune, done in a haunting fashion.
The song was first published by William B. Sandys in 1833, but was apparently sung as early as 1760. The title punctuation seems a bit alien to our modern eyes. Rather than referring to a group of "merry gentlemen", "Rest" denotes "keep or make" and the term "merry" once meant "mighty." This means that the song is a directive to a group of people to be blessed by the diety to stay strong or in good spirits.