I love Christmas. In fact, I really, really love Christmas. I love the vibe it brings and the lights that are up in the streets, and of course the amazing songs! I’ve had quite a few gigs this December but none of which called for any Christmas songs, so I popped down to catch one of the carol services at Trafalgar Square last night. It made me think about my favourite Christmas numbers, so here is my ultimate Christmas jazz/swing song list (if it was all genres I would be here all day):
10. Louis Armstrong – Zat You Santa Claus?
A real over the top, jolly-tastic Christmas track. His unique voice lends itself so well to this number.
9. Ella Fitzgerald What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?
Ah Ella. This is such a beautiful rendition, perfect for the end of the night when you’re so full you can’t move and you’re falling asleep on the sofa.
8. Shake Hands With Santa Claus – Louis Prima
I challenge anyone to not feel happy when Louis Prima is on. Classic Prima, classic Christmas cheer.
7. Jingle Bells – Duke Ellington
Massive fan of Duke Ellington, particularly his playing, and a massive fan of Christmas songs. What more is there to say?
6. Santa Claus – Dave Brubeck
This is such a great version. So swinging and so chilled, I would have this on when I’m opening presents. Hopefully.
5. Julie London – Warm December
Its always a real pleasure to listen to Julie singing, and her voice on this sounds like she could actually melt the sleet and snow. A real cosy song.
4. Oscar Peterson – I’ll Be Home for Christmas
Grab yourself a brandy for this , possibly post stuffing (yourself or the turkey). A really great number, with the perfect Christmas vibe. The whole album is great, in fact. Treat yourself.
3. Sleigh Ride – Wynton Marsalis featuring Jon Hendricks
I’m such a huge fan of Jon Hendricks so to hear him in this context just warms the cockles of my heart. Comes complete with a Chrismtas scat. Really love this version, particularly the “Yoo Hoo” at 2min 12.
2. Deck the Halls – Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea
Such a happy version!! Definitely one for cooking Christmas dinner to.
1. The Christmas Song – Nat King Cole
No contest. The perfect Christmas song hands down. Nat King Cole was such a wonderful vocalist and could give everyone a lesson in diction. This number is warm, comforting and happy. Everything Christmas should be.
Have a great one everybody! Thank you for all your support this year and making it such a brilliant year for me. Here’s to 2014!