Jazz for Joy, A Verve Christmas Album
Jazz musicians have always drawn much of their repertoire from the Great American Songbook. So it’s not surprising that, around the holidays, jazz musicians look to that same source, cherry-picking for holiday-themed music that lends itself to a jazz treatment. About 11 years ago, Verve Records brought into their studios some of the leading jazz musicians and vocalists of that time, asking them to record a total of 13 such tunes. The result was Jazz for Joy—an album that celebrates the holiday season at the same time it delivers to jazz fans some highly listenable music.
We hear Christian McBride and Roy Hargrove performing impressively in an arrangement of “Frosty the Snowman” that’s unlike any you’ve ever heard. Betty Carter sings Jule Styne’s “Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow” in her own inimitable way. And Shirley Horn does “Winter Wonderland” beautifully. Oh, and there are some new ones too—originals written and performed by Abby Lincoln.
Around our house, every year, Jazz for Joy is heard often from the day after Thanksgiving right up until Christmas day.