Dec 16, 2016
For years, I’ve combed through album after album of Christmas songs to bring you podcasts of both beloved and fresh jazz for the holiday. One thing I have noticed during the course of my investigations is the number of tunes that seem to have absolutely nothing to do with the Christmas holiday. So many of the most included tunes on Christmas jazz albums – I’m looking at you “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” – are seasonal in nature. They celebrate the winter cold, whether frolicking outside or cuddling inside before a fire.
Others take pop songs with appropriate themes - "Get Here" certainly fits the "I'll Be Home for Christmas" mood; "My Favorite Things" - gift giving and receiving. Some artists just choose downright odd selections on their holiday albums. I can see Chet Baker selecting the gospel "Amen", but how did Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" end up on a Chris Botti CD? Or "Scarborough Fair" on Al DiMeola's?
Therefore, Podcast 555 is the first of two “Very Jazzy Xmas” podcasts. This one is “The Secular Mix”, and only contains songs that have been included on Christmas albums, but have no mention of Santa, the Nativity, Mistletoe or anything else that smacks of Christmas.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Musical selections include:
Jimmy Smith – “Jingle Bells”
Harry Connick Jr – “Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow”
Dave Koz - "Get Here"
Norman Brown –
Shirley Horn – “Winter Wonderland"
Chris Bauer- "My Favorite Things"
Diana Krall - "Sleigh Ride"
Jo Stafford – “Moonlight in Vermont”
Ray Charles and Betty Carter - "Baby, It’s Cold Outside"
Ramsey Lewis Trio -“Snowfall”
Michael Franks – “Watching the Snow”
Billie Holiday – “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm "
Al DiMeola - "Midwinter Nights"
Rosemary Clooney – “Suzy Snowflake”