JazzTimes 10: Classic Jazz Christmas Albums

Recordings that always make for a cool Yule

  1. Oscar Peterson: An Oscar Peterson Christmas (Telarc, 1995)

His second album recorded after a 1993 stroke finds Peterson uncharacteristically succinct and uncluttered on most of these tunes (with some triumphant returns to form on “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” and “Winter Wonderland”). But he’s still Oscar Peterson, full of tasty fills and blues licks, and even when he yields the lead to guests like vibraphonist Dave Samuels and flugelhornist Jack Schantz (or the string orchestra that blankets most of the record), he throws down swing as though issuing a challenge—one on which guitarist Lorne Lofsky, bassist David Young, and drummer Jerry Fuller happily take him up.

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