Archive for Miles Davis

Repost: (Less Than) 30 Days Out from Christmas: Jingle Bell Jazz

Posted in 30 Days Out (From Christmas) with tags , , , , , , , on December 16, 2012 by 30daysout


Jingle Bell Jazz was one of the coolest albums of Christmas music ever.  Originally released in 1962, this unassuming little compilation featured an all-star cast of jazz luminaries like Miles Davis, Dave Brubeck, Duke Ellington and others.

It was reissued on vinyl but now it has disappeared into the mists of time. The original Jingle Bell Jazz was issued by Columbia in 1962 (its cover featured a red Santa sack with gifts) and the reissue from 1980 (cover pictured above) only appeared on vinyl LP.

In 1985, the label combined Jingle Bell Jazz with another album God Rest Ye Merry Jazzmen, and the resulting CD entitled Jingle Bell Jazz is a distillation of both.

Aficionados prefer the original vinyl-only versions of the album, probably because the CD reissue leaves out some crucial artists. So, as our Christmas gift to you, here are some new digital files from the original Jingle Bell Jazz, plus some other cool jazz Christmas tunes.

MP3: “Jingle Bells” by Duke Ellington

MP3: “White Christmas” by Lionel Hampton

MP3: “Winter Wonderland” by Chico Hamilton

MP3: “Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer” by Pony Poindexter

MP3: “Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town” by the Dave Brubeck Quartet

MP3: “Blue Xmas (To Whom It May Concern) by Miles Davis

MP3: “Deck The Halls” by Herbie Hancock

MP3: “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” by Marlowe Morris

And some other nice jazz holiday tunes:

MP3: “Greensleeves” by John Coltrane

MP3: “The Christmas Song” by Dexter Gordon

MP3: “Let It Snow” by Wynton Marsalis

Sampler Daze: Rockbuster

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags , , , , , on August 6, 2009 by 30daysout

100_2901_editedToday we take a last look at the rock samplers issued by CBS/Columbia … In 1970, the company dropped Rockbuster, another two-LP sampler issued in the United Kingdom and Europe.

The album had more of Columbia’s jazz-rock (Blood, Sweat and Tears, Bitches Brew-era Miles Davis, It’s A Beautiful Day, The Flock), some singer/songwriter stuff (Poco, Byrds, Dylan), some prog-rock (Argent, Spirit) and some blues-rock (Redbone, Johnny Winter, Pacific Gas & Electric).

One interesting group was Black Widow, a British hard-rock foursome often confused at the time with Black Sabbath.  Black Widow used occult and satanic imagery with less subtlety than Ozzy and Co., and when they finally moved away from that crap in 1971 Black Widow actually lost popularity.  CBS dropped them a year later and the group broke up, although some of the original members have been recently threatening a comeback.

Redbone was also pretty interesting; they came out of Los Angeles in 1968 with a mixture of rock, R&B and Cajun influences, even though the group’s founders – brothers Patrick and Lolly Vasquez – were apparently Native Americans.  They had hit singles, including “Maggie” (1970), “Witch Queen of New Orleans” (1971) and “Come And Get Your Love” (1974).  Supposedly, Redbone never broke up but one of the brothers had a stroke in the 1990s and there hasn’t been much heard from these guys for a while.  Also featured was a group called the New York Rock and Roll Ensemble, known for combining rock and classical elements.  One of the group’s members was Michael Kamen, later known for his movie scores (Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Highlander, etc.) and who died in 2003.

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