It's after Thanksgiving, and around here, that means Christmas music! Actually, my students and I have been working on Christmas music since September, so it's easy for me to get quickly burnt out on Christmas music. It is, however, nice to have some of my favorites playing in the background as I make cookies or decorate; and I am always looking for sources of inspiration as I work on my own Christmas arrangements and Christmas gigs. Here is a list of some of my go-to recordings and albums. 1. A Dave Brubeck Christmas The first jazz Christmas Album I fell in love with was "A Dave Brubeck Christmas." It is the perfect balance of jazzy, but approachable and traditional. His taste is immaculate. https://music.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_lOW3tjc2kyQAikBbHGxkQGEr7uBx9Aba0
2. In December - Robert Glasper I've never met a Glasper album I didn't like, this one included. He just released it this month, and I listened to it on repeat in the hot tub the other night. Glasper can make even Christmas music hip.
3. December - George Winston
Soothing, pianistic, and introspective as always, George Winston is a staple for instrumental music. I consider this one a classic. https://music.apple.com/us/album/december/1491090471
4. Silent Night - Justin Kauflin
Last year I decided to try to incorporate some gentle gospel stylings into my Christmas music, and found myself continually going back to this album. It's exuberant, complex, peaceful, and serious all at once.
5. A Charlie Brown Christmas - Vince Guaraldi
The nostalgia of this album just can't be surpassed. If Looney Tunes introduced most of us to classical music, Charlie Brown introduced most of us to Jazz.
6. The Nutcracker - Bonn Classical Philharmonic
Who could forget The Nutcracker?
7. An Oscar Peterson Christmas - Oscar Peterson
Oscar Peterson brings his virtuosity and incomparable feel to Christmas! https://music.apple.com/us/album/an-oscar-peterson-christmas/1660323817
8. Christmas - The Classical Jazz Quartet
This album puts a playful and jazzy twist on some classical Christmas favorites
9. The Nutcracker Suite - Duke Ellington
Keeping with the classical to jazz theme, this album is pure joy.
Christmas - Ella Fitzgerald
I'll admit it - I tend to stay away from vocal Christmas music. However, if I am feeling up to it, this is hands down my go to. You just can't beat Ella.