The Best Holiday Jazz CDs Ever, from WDUQ

Pittsburgh-based NPR member station WDUQ broadcasts more than 100 hours of jazz programming every week — a lineup that includes its share of holiday music around this time of year. Music director Shaunna Morrison Machosky, who also contributes to JazzWorks (a 24-hour syndicated public-radio jazz service), compiled this list of the 10 best holiday jazz CDs.

1. Nat "King" Cole

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Nat "King" Cole's 1946 recording of "The Christmas Song" is considered by many to be the track's definitive reading. Cole's warm voice chases away the winter chill.

2. Ella Fitzgerald

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The First Lady of Song swings through classic holiday tunes with peerless style. Ella Wishes You a Swingin' Christmas sounds spirited, heartfelt and fun.

3. Vince Guaraldi

Guaraldi

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The classic 1965 holiday TV special still runs today, and the soundtrack sounds just as timeless. Vince Guaraldi's subtle piano work helped bring the cartoon to life.

4. Diana Krall

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With the swinging Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra lending assistance, singer/pianist Diana Krall offers her take on a variety of traditional Christmas songs.

5. Nancy Wilson

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The legendary singer (and host of NPR's Jazz Profiles) rounded up noted jazz musicians to record a collection of holiday favorites. With proceeds benefiting the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild in Pittsburgh — the nonprofit arts and learning center where the disc was recorded — it's for a good cause, too.

6. Dianne Reeves

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Reeves brings warmth and finesse to holiday standards that sound anything but standard. Some aren't even immediately recognizable: Her exuberant, swinging take on "Carol of the Bells" is a prime example.

7. 'Yule Be Miserable'

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Holiday music doesn't have to be holly, jolly or bright. Songs on this disc include "Santa Claus Got Stuck in My Chimney," "Nuttin' for Christmas" and "My Birthday Comes on Christmas." Scrooge would approve.

8. 'Jazz Yule Love II'

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This new holiday collection, showcasing artists on the Mack Avenue label, features trumpeter Sean Jones, legendary composer and arranger Gerald Wilson, and the Hot Club of Detroit.

9. Wynton Marsalis

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Wynton Marsalis serves up Christmas, New Orleans-style. This disc, originally released in 1989, is worth rediscovering every year.

10. Diane Delin

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Jazz violinist Diane Delin offers fresh interpretations of traditional holiday songs. A Latin-tinged version of "My Favorite Things" leads off this new CD.

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The Christmas Song

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The Christmas Song
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Nat "King" Cole

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Ella Wishes You a Swingin' Christmas

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Ella Wishes You a Swingin' Christmas
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A Charlie Brown Christmas

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A Charlie Brown Christmas
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Vince Guaraldi Trio

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Christmas Songs

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Christmas Songs
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Diana Krall Featuring the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra

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A Nancy Wilson Christmas

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A Nancy Wilson Christmas
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Christmas Time Is Here

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Christmas Time Is Here
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Dianne Reeves

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Yule Be Miserable

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Yule Be Miserable
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Various Artists

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Jazz Yule Love II

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Crescent City Christmas Card

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Crescent City Christmas Card
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Wynton Marsalis

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