Around this time, the holiday music starts invading every public space, from elevators to restaurants to dance clubs. At swing dance clubs around the country, DJs are making innocent dancers have to endure countless "holiday mixes" of jazzy versions of "Here Comes Santa Claus," "Frosty the Snowman," and worst of all "Jingle Bells." Shudder.
So I was less than excited to find in my mailbox the other day a copy of "Jazz Yule Love II" which has all the makings of a bad jazzy Christmas CD — a holiday pun in the title, generic stock art, and its part TWO which usually means music that didn’t make the cut for the first CD.
So I was pleasantly surprised by the non-cheesy and nuanced versions of many holiday classics on this album. Bringing together such talents as Oscar Brown Jr, the Hot Club of Detroit, Gerald Wilson Orchestra, and the Bud Shank Quartet, each track squeezes a remarkable amount of musicality and groove out of these holiday standards. I have to admit that my favorite track is "The Chipmunk Song" by the Hot Club of Detroit just because it’s so silly and fun.
For more cool swinging holiday tunes, take a listen to the swing music podcast of my buddy Jessie Miner, who counts off his eight favorite swingin holiday tunes.