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Joy Of Christmas PastGRP 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 efforts. Joy 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."

Albums Albums


  • Christmas 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)

Further ListeningFurther Listening

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