Jazzy Christmas Tunes?

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by Journey55, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. Anyone know of any Christmas/Winter Holiday Tunes that are jazzed up? Or just any song that works for the winter-time. If this is the wrong place to be asking please redirect me, thanks!
  2. pkstone

    pkstone Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2011
    There are about three thousand jazz versions of "Winter Wonderland" and Mel Torme's "The Christmas Song" (Chestnuts Roasting on an open fire...). Both lend themselves well to the genre. Check out "God Rest You Merry Jazzmen" for a great example.

    This is about the only Christmas music I can stomach anymore. :)
  3. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings
    I've had a theory for quite a while that there are really only about 25 Christmas songs and just about every artist does a cover of them.
  4. othefool


    Feb 25, 2004
    Chico, CA
    Check out the Charlie Brown/Peanuts Christmas album. One of the coolest, and jazziest, Xmas albums ever imho.....
  5. Double E

    Double E I ain't got no time to play... Supporting Member

    Dec 24, 2005
    Northeast Ohio
    Ray Charles, do yourself a favor and find the album "Spirit of Christmas" you will not regret it!

  6. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Wynton Marsalis- Crescent City Christmas
    Jingle Bell Jazz- various acoustic Jazz
    Verve Presents Christmas Jazz- various instrumental/vocal acoustic Jazz...Coltrane playing "Greensleeves"...nice version of Bill Evans doin' "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town".
    Yule Struttin': A Blue Note Christmas...various Blue Note Jazz.

    Electric Jazz-up Christmas...
    The Yellowjackets- Peace Round
    The Flecktones- Jingle All The Way
    I really used to like GRP & its releases...these have a mixture of Acoustic/Electric Jazz'd-up Xmas-
    A Christmas Collection Volumes 1, 2, & 3. Corea's Electrik Band hammering out "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" should be an attention-getter.

    Big Band-ish...
    I like Diama Krall (Christmas Songs) & any of the Harry Connick albums.

    For Pop-
    The Jackson Five (A classic) & Chicago have cool stuff.
    ...don't forget about Donny Hathaway's "This Christmas".
  7. My favorite is Carol of the Bells. You can Jazz up anything. Here is one I did on guitar last year as a chord melody.
  8. stingbear


    Jul 4, 2006
    Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmas Time" covered by Silje Nergaard on the album "If I could wrap up a kiss".

    Really groovy :)

    "Christmas Time Is Here" on the same album is very beautiful as well.
  9. stingbear


    Jul 4, 2006
    Thanks for this! Can't believe I've never heard of Vince Guaraldi before :O

    "Skating" is just... genious.
  10. Hey guys thanks for all these songs! (I'm a big Vince Guaraldi fan) however I was looking for songs that would be better suited for a Jazz Quartet (Bass, Drums. Piano, Sax) thanks!
  11. If Charlie Brown isn't the gold standard, it's close. Check out the Verve compilation "Have Yourself a Jazzy Little Christmas," or "Hipsters Holiday" on Rhino. If you can find it, Starbucks put out a nifty collection called "Stockings By the Fire" a few years back.

    As stated above, you can jazz up anything. Worry less about finding songs that translate directly into a quartet, and instead listen to find inspiration and ideas you can work from. That's kinda the idea behind jazz...

    Good luck and cool Yule!
  12. mccartneyman


    Dec 22, 2006
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Managing Editor, Bass Guitars Editor, MusicGearReview.com
    It's a solo piano CD, but "A Dave Brubeck Christmas" could be adapted for quartet if you can cop the tunes by listening. Although they aren't what you're looking for, two of my favorites are big bad treatments: Stan Kenton's "A Merry Christmas" (1961) and Robb McConnell & the Boss Brass: "Big Band Christmas" (1998). The Kenton CD showcases his mellophonium band, and I guarantee you won't hear anything else like it, ever. McConnell's is more straight ahead jazz, but it's a keeper. Also in the big band mold, there's "Mel Torme Christmas Songs."

    And I have to recommend "Klezmer Nutcracker" by Shirim. I can't describe it, but it is both hilarious and sublime. As the name implies, they tackle Tchaikovsky as well as a few classial non-Christmas tunes.
  13. trothwell


    Apr 9, 2008