Support www.hipchristmas.com! Shop at Amazon, iTunes, and more...
GRP Records rose to prominence as purveyors of synthesized smooth
jazz and fusion pop during the 80's. The label was eventually
bought by Universal who owned the rights to the rich archives
of Decca Records, and when Universal opened the vaults
for GRP to exploit, this CD was happily one of GRP's first
Of Christmas Past (1994) collects some wonderful vintage
jazz - not a synthesizer in sight! - and most of these
songs are extremely rare. Beginning with Gene Ammons'
raucous 1948 hard bop assault on the holidays, "Swingin'
For Christmas," we travel through over two decades
of jazz. Stopping along the way for Mel Torme's original,
1955 recording of his own "Christmas Song,"
we conclude with Louis Armstrong's "What A Wonderful
World," a song that has been widely adopted for the
season but which, in fact, never mentions the holidays. Joy
Of Christmas Past, by the way, is very similar to GRP's later Traditional
Jazz Christmas (1997), which subtracts several cuts
but adds Lionel Hampton's "Swingle Jingle."
In New Orleans (Louis Armstrong, 1955)
Christmas Night In Harlem (Louis Armstrong, 1955)
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! (Les Brown, 1953)
Little Drummer Boy (Kenny Burrell, 1966)
Ring Those Christmas Bells (Peggy Lee, 1953)
Sleigh Ride (Soulful Strings, 1968)
Snowfall (Ahmad Jamal, 1961)
- Swingin' For Christmas (aka Boppin' With Santa) (Gene Ammons, 1948
The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)
(Mel Torme, 1955)
What A Wonderful World (Louis Armstrong, 1969)
What Are You Doing New Year's Eve? (Ramsey Lewis, 1961)
[top of page]