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The Best Christmas Jazz Albums

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Jazz Christmas albums capture the essence of the holiday spirit. Some of the biggest bands and artists of the genre have released holiday songs allowing for the popularity of jazz songs, which are among the most requested during the holiday season. The albums and songs featured on this list are some of the most popular Christmas songs of all time and some of the greatest jingles in the history of music. Bands like Dave Brubeck, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald released music that captured the holiday spirit. Not to be outdone, Wynton Marsalis or Diana Krall. No matter what style or type of Christmas song you enjoy, you're likely to find an album on this list that will fit whatever music you enjoy.

Michel Legrand - Noel, Noel, Noel- From "Jingle Bells" to "Silent Night" these are the greatest Christmas songs that are revisited by Michel Legrand. Holiday release from the French pianist, who is joined by a star-studded cast of friends. From Vive le vent (Jingle Bells) through Silent Night to Santa Baby, Michel Legrand has revisited the greatest Christmas songs. He created the arrangements and directed the Symphonic Orchestra with an accompanying jazz big band, recording the album in New York. The artists who participated to the project include Mika, Madeleine Peyroux, Carla Bruni, Iggy Pop, Jamie Cullum, Renan Luce, Rufus Wainwright and others.

Diana Krall - Christmas Songs - This 2005 album is performed with the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra.This is Krall's first full-length album of Christmas songs, and her first studio album with a big band. The album features the talents of renowned arranger and bassist John Clayton (Count Basie, Duke Ellington), Anthony Wilson (Chris Botti, Michael Buble), drummer Jeff Hamilton (Rosemary Clooney, Natalie Cole) and bassist Bob Hurst (The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Saturday Night Live).

Christmas Jazz Jam - Wynton Marsalis - Christmas Jazz Jam, is the first holiday album of Wynton in 20 years. Rooted in the spirit of New Orleans and the gospel church, these new arrangements of holiday standards are drenched with down-home soul and joyous swing. Christmas Jazz Jam brings the American art of jazz improvisation to traditional songs loved worldwide. It provides a great opportunity to discover and enjoy contemporary jazz.

An Oscar Peterson Christmas – In this album, the living legend of jazz piano and 14-times recipient of the "Best Jazz Pianist of the Year" given by Down Beat Magazine, Oscar Peterson, is surrounded by some of the best musicians in the history of jazz. Recorded in 1995 by Telarc in its new exclusive 20-bit technology, the listeners are guaranteed the best quality sound ever. Telarc has an exceptional reputation not only for producing discs of the highest quality standards, but also for utilizing top-of-the-line digital recording techniques.

A Dave Brubeck Christmas - Dave Brubeck was one of the most active and popular musicians in both the jazz and classical worlds. With a career that spanned over six decades, his experiments in odd time signatures, improvised counterpoint, polyrhythm and polytonality remain hallmarks of innovation. Brubeck delivers a cool-jazz Christmas album that you'll have to break out year after year. It's just him at the piano on this 1996 recording, bringing class and joy to Santa Claus Is Coming to Town; Winter Wonderland; Away in a Manger; Joy to the World; The Christmas Song; Jingle Bells , and more. 

Hot Jazz For A Cool Night: A Jazz Christmas - This album released in 1992, is even for those who are not fond of holiday collections. There are numerous compilations of jazz versions of Christmas music - and this is one of the best. The music was recorded between fall 1991 and summer 1992; the CD was released for Christmas 1992. One of the features that makes this collection different than many other jazz Christmas compilations is the choice of material and the uniform feel of the album. The musicianship is of a consistently high enough level to appeal to the most discriminating jazz fan, while the presentation of each tune is pleasant enough to appeal to the non-jazz casual listener. 

Warner Bros. Jazz Christmas Party - Various Artists such as Joshua Redman, Brad Mehldhau, Al Jarreau, Kevin Mahogany, etc…. One of the best christmas jazz.  Perfect for any Christmas Party...office, home ...etc 

The Very Best of Christmas Jazz. This jolly collection features fourteen of the world's favorite holiday jingles previously recorded by the legendary vocalists and musicians of jazz. Jazz divas Shirley Horn sings "Winter Wonderland," powerhouse singer Ella Fitzgerald performs a playful rendition of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," and the eloquent Dinah Washington amazes on "Silent Night." John Coltrane grooves on "Greensleeves," while Mel Torme offers a timeless version of "The Christmas Song." Delightful treats packed together like an overstuffed Christmas stocking, this selection will be sure to add a joyful spirit to your holiday season.

What a wonderfull Christmas Louis Armstrong and friends - One of the most collectible Christmas packages. This is the only album to include all six Christmas sides Louis Armstrong recorded for Decca- White Christmas; Zat You, Santa Claus; Christmas in New Orleans; Christmas Night in Harlem; Cool Yule , and Winter Wonderland -plus other yuletide nuggets unearthed from the label's vaults. May Everyday Be Christmas Louis Jordan; Silent Night Dinah Washington; Santa Baby Eartha Kitt; The Christmas Song Mel Torme, and more.

Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas -  It'd be hard to imagine a happier wish than the one this jazz vocal legend offers her listeners on this urbane-yet-homey collection of holiday favorites. The First Lady of Song recorded these tunes in 1960, at the peak of her interpretive powers. As such, she puts her singular stamp on everything from a sultry vamp like "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve" to the sweet and cozy "The Christmas Song." Even potentially shopworn standards like "Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town" sound fresher when they're coming from Ella Fitzgerald. --David Sprague


"Jingle Bells" by Duke Ellington & His Orchestra
 - From Jingle Bell Swing (Columbia/Legacy) Classic Duke sound and great choruses played with typical economy from his sidemen circa 1962.

 "White Christmas" by Charlie Parker All-Stars From Jingle Bell Jam (Verve) - Every family should serve up some Christmas Bird.
Last modified on Wednesday, 07 December 2016 17:10

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