Nothing like a little American jazz for your next holiday party. Jazz music can be a super cool addition to the red-hot, holiday scene. Put some jazz into your holiday plans, and it will definitely get you into the swinging, holiday mood.
How to set the stage for your Jazzy Holiday Party? Buy one of those funky, retro Christmas trees from Treetopia, an online retailer of trees as well as “fun and innovative products” for the holidays and year round celebrations. . Light it up with a Rock and Roll Color Wheel and decorate away. Mix the drinks, load up the buffet table with your favorite hors d’oeuvres and other goodies. Light the candles, put on some festive music, and you’re good to go.
Looking for the right music to get this party started? Check out these Top 10 Songs for a Jazzy Holiday Party.
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (Ella Fitzgerald)
In her 50-plus year career, Ella Fitzgerald recorded over 200 albums and about 2,000 songs, working with some of the best musicians around. Her recording of “Rudolph” is one holiday song that will start your Jazzy Holiday Party off with a bang!
Merry Christmas, Baby (Kenny Burrell)
B.B King calls Kenny Burrell “the best jazz guitarist in the world” and when you hear this recording, you’ll know why. A great song and terrific addition to your Jazzy Holiday Party playlist.
Christmas Eve (William Clarence “Billy” Eckstine)
William Clarence “Billy” Eckstine’s smooth baritone and distinctive voice made him an important “break through” artist in the 1940s, first as leader of the original Bop Big Band (The Billy Eckstine Band) and, later, as the first romantic black male in popular music. In an interview with Billboard Magazine, Quincy Jones positively glowed about Eckstine’s influence on American music and culture saying, “I looked up to Mr. B as an idol. I wanted to dress like him, talk like him, pattern my whole life as a musician and as a complete person in the image of dignity that he projected…” Eckstine’s song, “Christmas Eve” is a classic. After listening to Eckstine’s sultry voice, you’ll want to put a candle in your window, too.
Here Comes Santa Claus (Ramsey Lewis)
Jazz legend, pianist and composer Ramsey Lewis turns on the heat in this classic Christmas song. Sophisticated, complex, and pure genius, a solid addition to your Jazzy Holiday Party playlist. Ramsey Lewis at his best. A great holiday song.
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! (Joe Williams)
Known as the “Emperor of the Blues,” Joe Williams is not a household name, but a legendary jazz figure in his own right. Known for his elegant and sophisticated baritone and jazz styling. Joe Williams is counted among the masters of jazz and blues singing. You’ll know what the buzz is about when you let Joe Williams captivate your guests with his great vocals. A Top Ten holiday song artist, for sure.
Greensleeves (John Coltrane)
While still in high school, John Coltrane’s musical influences included Lester Young and Johnny Hodges, and it was then that Coltrane switched to Alto Saxophone. Though Coltrane left us far too young, his music lives on, especially this version of Greensleeves, recorded on Impulse Records in 1962. Not what you expect. A perfect addition to and great holiday song for your Jazzy Holiday Party.
The Christmas Song (Mel Torme)
Though “The Christmas Song” is, more often than not, associated with the music of legendary Nat King Cole, Mel Torme’s version is equally fresh and interesting. Mel Torme sings it like no one else. A real original. Sure to make your Jazzy Holiday Party smooth as silk. A Top Ten holiday party song.
Zat You Santa Claus? (Louis Armstrong)
Peek through the keyhole with this classic from Louis Armstrong, and you’ll get everyone in the mood for a Jazzy Holiday, too. Louis Armstrong at his delightful, holiday best. What party would be complete without Louis Armstrong? A great holiday party song and must for your holiday party playlist.
Winter Wonderland (Shirley Horn)
Shirley Horn was an all American, original on the jazz scene. Once a child prodigy, this native Washingtonian sings Winter Wonderland like no one else. If you don’t believe me, check Miss Horn out on YouTube. Simply the best and sorely missed by jazz enthusiasts worldwide. A great holiday party song and “must have” addition to your holiday song collection.
Good Morning Blues (Count Basie)
Legendary piano player and bandleader Count Basie turns it on in “Good Morning Blues,” a song that became both theme song and anthem for Count Basie Orchestra and, eventually, the title of his autobiography. Spin this track at your Jazzy Holiday Party and soon you’ll be singin’, “Santa Claus, Santa Claus, listen to my plea…don’t send me nothing for Christmas, but my baby back to me.”
Where To Buy? Looking for these Top Ten Songs for Jazzy Holiday Party? You’re in luck. Each one one of these tunes has been included in this wonderful, holiday, jazz songs collection!
Verve Presents: The Very Best Of Christmas Jazz CD
CD Universe @ $7.85
Other Jazzy Holiday Classics & More? Don’t stop now. Top holiday songs and so much more at your fingertips. Check out these great CDs and selections for a super cool, Jazzy Holiday Party.
A Dave Brubeck Christmas
Amazon @ $14.99
Recommended: Cantos para Pedir las Posadas; Run, Run, Run to Bethlehem
Barnes & Noble @ $11.39
Recommended: What are you Doing New Year’s Eve?; Christmas Time is Here
Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas (Remastered)
Amazon @ $10.99