Dec 20, 2011
If you're not NPR Morning Edition junkies like the Siegel family, you might have missed a great piece this morning about Bob Dorough and Miles Davis' "Blue Xmas", a track I featured as part of the 25 Days of Jazzmas last week. Click here to listen to the story, including talk with Dorough:
"You know, we always called him the Prince of Darkness, and so I thought this was not going to be one of those happy, 'What are you going to bring me for Christmas?' songs...And my point was to emphasize the over-commercialization of Christmas. I was thinking of Miles and the way he lives his life and commends his music. I hope I didn't overdo it."
The same piece includes a talk with John Zorn, whose A Dreamer's Christmas is his first crack at the season's music. Why did a player known for his avant-garde leanings. a star of the "Radical Jewish Music" scene do an album for Christmas?
Zorn says he has wanted to make a Christmas record for more than a decade. He curates a Jewish music series on his record label, and his first idea was to do an album of Christmas music all written by Jews. Think Irving Berlin's "White Christmas."
"It turned out that a lot of Christmas songs have been written by Jews," says Zorn. "Then, as I got deeper into it, I decided — I mean, that's a funny idea, but I don't want to make any political statement here or do any kind of agenda. I just want to keep it in kind of the secular vein and just celebrate the holiday as, you know, hot-buttered rum and mulled cider and tinsel on the tree and little toys and Santa flying in the air and, you know, those childlike visions."