Songs We Love: DJ Jazzy Jeff & Ayah, 'Xmas Time' A #TBT secret holiday classic by one of Philly's finest hip-hop DJs and his soulful collaborator.
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01Xmas Time

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Songs We Love: DJ Jazzy Jeff & Ayah, 'Xmas Time'

Songs We Love: DJ Jazzy Jeff & Ayah, 'Xmas Time'

01Xmas Time

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/459842148/459848752" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Jazzy Jeff & Ayah Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Jazzy Jeff & Ayah

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"Xmas Time" cover.
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#TBT to a few years ago, when I was tasked with DJ'ing the holiday party at NPR's New York bureau. Now if you know anything about the music team — and if you don't, this year's favorite songs list is a good insight — these people have exquisite taste, so your run-of- the-mill playlist won't cut it. I had to dig deeper. This is how I came upon "Xmas Time," a collaboration between famed Philly DJ, Jazzy Jeff Townes, and soul singer M. Ayah Bishouty, that was originally released as a free download on Jeff's site in December of 2010. (The two were working on their album, Back For More, at the time.)

It feels almost criminal that this song isn't better known. The melody is soothing and familiar, perfect music for some eggnog by the fireplace — or by your building-controlled furnace. It's also refreshing, a modern soulful approach to music of the season. The holidays are all about spending time with family, and "Xmas Time" is a welcome addition to the classics we've come to know and love, while hanging with loved ones.

"Xmas Time" is available on the Back For More Bandcamp.