JazzTimes 10: Classic Jazz Christmas Albums

Recordings that always make for a cool Yule

Vince Guaraldi Trio: A Charlie Brown Christmas
  1. Wynton Marsalis: Crescent City Christmas Card (Columbia, 1989)

When he’s at his best, Wynton Marsalis’ infusion of post-bop jazz with New Orleans traditional jazz and big-band swing really is sui generis. This album finds him at the very top of that game, deftly blending the counterpoint, plunger mutes, and wildly bending notes of prewar jazz with splendid soloing (Marcus Roberts on “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” Wycliffe Gordon on “Let It Snow,” the trumpeter himself on “Winter Wonderland”). It’s a record that remembers Christmas is supposed to be a celebration.

Check the price of Crescent City Christmas Card on Amazon!

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.