NPR logo Jazz for the Holiday Season, from WBGO

Jazz for the Holiday Season, from WBGO

With the holiday season comes the music for spending time with holly and mistletoe — and perhaps too many visits to the local mall. Every year, new interpretations of holiday classics come pouring in.

Truth be told, we really don't need a new tempo on "O, Tannenbaum," and the nights are holy enough, thank you. That said, here are some great suggestions for eggnog and yule logs.

Jazz for the Holiday Season, from WBGO

Nat King Cole

The Christmas Song

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/17414576/17415507" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

"The Christmas Song"

  • Song: The Christmas Song
  • from The Christmas Song
  • by Nat King Cole

Even if you hate chestnuts, this is a must for the season.

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Song
The Christmas Song
Album
The Christmas Song
Artist
Nat King Cole
Label
Capitol
Released
1963

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Oliver Jones

Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

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"Let It Snow"

  • Song: Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
  • from Yuletide Swing
  • by Oliver Jones

Pianist Oliver Jones hails from Canada, and you can tell he's seen the Oscar Peterson eclipse many times. Once music director for the Montreal Jubilation Choir, he has a great soulful style. Santa has never come to town like this.

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Song
Yuletide Swing
Album
Yuletide Swing
Artist
Oliver Jones
Label
Justin Time
Released
1994

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Yule Struttin'

Jingle Bells

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"Jingle Bells" (Count Basie)

  • Song: Jingle Bells
  • from Yule Struttin': A Blue Note Christmas
  • by Various Artists

Chet Baker's "Winter Wonderland." Dexter Gordon wishing you a Merry Christmas. Even John Scofield getting seasonal with the 'Chipmunks' theme. And of course, the Basie band.

Putumayo

Please Come Home for Christmas

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"Please Come Home for Christmas" (Papa Don Vappie's New Orleans Jazz Band)

  • Song: Please Come Home for Christmas
  • from Putumayo Presents: New Orleans Christmas
  • by Various Artists

Deck the halls with soul, jazz and blues classics done the Big Easy way. Heritage Hall Jazz Band, Ellis Marsalis, John Boutte and New Birth Brass Band are all featured here.

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Song
New Orleans Christmas
Album
New Orleans Christmas
Artist
Various Artists
Label
Putumayo World Music

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Savoy

White Christmas

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"White Christmas" (Big Maybelle)

  • Song: White Christmas
  • from Savoy Christmas Blues
  • by Various Artists

Not your typical holiday fare here. Little Esther with Johnny Otis, The Ravens, Big Maybelle, Charlie Parker's "White Christmas" and Slam Stewart letting you in on "Santa's Secret" are some of the reasons why.

Buy Featured Music

Song
Savoy Christmas Blues
Album
Savoy Christmas Blues
Artist
Various Artists
Label
Savoy
Released
2003

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