JazzTimes 10: Classic Jazz Christmas Albums

Recordings that always make for a cool Yule

Vince Guaraldi Trio: A Charlie Brown Christmas
  1. Joe Pass: Six String Santa (Laserlight, 1992)

One of Joe Pass’ final recordings before his 1994 passing, Six String Santa is a quartet date featuring the legendary guitarist’s last band (rhythm guitarist John Pisano, bassist Jim Hughart, and bassist Colin Bailey). For Pass, who could get all the accompaniment he needed out of his own guitar, this qualifies as a fleshed-out ensemble, but he makes it sound both stripped-down and charming. Includes perhaps the warmest rendition of “O Christmas Tree” ever attempted in jazz, Guaraldi’s included—complete with a cascading masterpiece of a solo.

Check the price of Six String Santa 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.