Song:Our Little Town
Album:A Jazz Christmas
Around this time of year, I always get asked about Christmas albums, especially jazz Christmas CDs. So here's a various artists CD that is available at a budget price. Most jazz fans should be familiar with The Heath Brothers. Bassist Percy Heath was a long time member of Modern Jazz Quartet. Sax player Jimmy Heath and drummer Albert "Tootie" Heath were mainly sidemen who occasionally recorded as leaders. When the MJQ retired in 1973, The Heath Brothers decided to tour as a unit and they recorded four albums on Columbia. Our Little Town is a reworking of O Little Town Of Bethlehem. It wasn't on a Heath Brothers album. Columbia released the various artists jazz Christmas album God Rest Ye Merry Jazzmen in 1981. Our Little Town was recorded by the band that recorded the 1980 album Expressions Of Life. Albert had left. He would return later. He was replaced by drummer Akira Tana who would later be a long time member of Art Farmer's band. Of course there was Percy and Jimmy Heath, the great Stanley Cowell on piano and guitarist Tony Purrone who I think still works with the Heaths. God Rest Ye Merry Jazzmen is out of print. But you can get Our Little Town on this various artists budget CD originally licensed to Music Masters but now available from Sony. It's a mix of recordings from the 1963 album Jingle Bell Jazz and God Rest Ye Merry Jazzmen including songs by Dexter Gordon and McCoy Tyner. Check it out if you are looking for a jazz Christmas album. Here's a video for Our Little Town by The Heath Brothers.