JazzTimes 10: Classic Jazz Christmas Albums

Recordings that always make for a cool Yule

Vince Guaraldi Trio: A Charlie Brown Christmas
  1. Dave Brubeck: A Dave Brubeck Christmas (Telarc, 1996)

Dave Brubeck Christmas

Brubeck’s surefooted swing and warm touch would make the solo A Dave Brubeck Christmas thoroughly charming even without its imaginative vision. As it happens, though, Brubeck finds a new and almost heartbreaking poignancy in “Joy to the World,” puts magnificent improvisational spins on “Jingle Bells” and “Winter Wonderland,” and brings a stately grace to the often cloying “Away in a Manger.” (That same grace touches his haunting original composition “To Us Is Given.”) It’s a jewel.

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Originally Published

Michael J. West

Michael J. West is a jazz journalist in Washington, D.C. In addition to his work on the national and international jazz scenes, he has been covering D.C.’s local jazz community since 2009. He is also a freelance writer, editor, and proofreader, and as such spends most days either hunkered down at a screen or inside his very big headphones. He lives in Washington with his wife and two children.