Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Jazz Christmas is the best

The only Christmas music I can stand anymore is jazz Christmas music. Jazz blends perfectly with Christmas music because they complement each other so well. Everybody knows the Christmas songs, they're done to death every December. And much jazz is unlistenable because of the tendency of jazz players to subvert the melody (or not even bother with melody in the first place) with random solos. Contemporary jazz music puts a high premium on novelty. So the familiarity of the Christmas song is leavened by the novelty of jazz - and even if jazz musicians do go out on a tangent, you can still usually follow the melody line.

Vince Guaraldi did jazz versions of several Christmas standards for "Merry Christmas Charlie Brown" - in this Youtube clip he does a little bit of the standard version of "O Tannenbaum" and then gets into the jazzed-up version.

And of course Guaraldi composed the classic "Linus and Lucy" - which isn't technically a Christmas song, but it has become a Christmas standard. And it's an all-around great song. Here is a snippet from the Charlie Brown Christmas special:

CLASSIC dance moves from the Peanuts gang!

The soundtrack from that Christmas special is the best collection of music for the season ever. Get it if you don't have it.