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Straight No Chaser - A Jazz Show

Straight No Chaser is the place for jazz lovers (and those who will soon be jazz lovers) to enjoy podcasts with their favorite music and artists. Winner of the 2017 JazzTimes Readers' Poll for Best Podcast, your host Jeffrey Siegel will take you inside the world of jazz, from the new releases to the best festiva;s to remembrances of jazz legends.

25 Days of Jazzmas: "Merry Christmas Baby"

Dec 20, 2011

No one swings Christmas quite like Ramsey Lewis. The Sound of Christmas, recorded at Ter-Mar Studios, Chicago, Illinois in 1961, is one of the top Jazz Christmas recordings of all-time (the sequel More Sounds of Christmas ain't bad either). The album kicks off with this version of the R&B Christmas standard written by Lou Baxter and Johnny Moore. Johnny Moore's Three Blazers,w hich featured singer Charles Brown was a top West Coast blues club band when their recording of "Merry Christmas Baby" reached position #3 on the Billboard Jukebox chart during the Christmas of 1947. It's gone on to be a staple of rock and blues acts like Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Springsteen and Chuck Berry.

The Lewis Trio of 1961 was composed of Lewis on piano, Isaac 'Red' Holt on drums and Eldee Young on bass. The combo stayed together from 1955 to 1968, when Holt and Young left to form the Young-Holt Trio. The Sound of Christmas is still available on Verve Records (originally on Chess Records).