Song:Blue Xmas (To Whom It May Concern)
Album:Jingle Bell Jazz
I am asked about Christmas jazz CDs all the time and I think this is the first time I have ever featured a Christmas jazz CD. It's an oddball track recorded for the 1962 various artists CD Jingle Bell Jazz. And I'm sure many jazz fans don't know that jazz vocal legend Bob Dorough recorded with Davis. Dorough is best known for writing, producing and sometimes singing the music for the popular 70s ABC kids educational series Schoolhouse Rock. He's been around the New York jazz scene since the 50s. And he's still around. He celebrated his 90th birthday on Dec. 12, 2013. Blue Xmas was recorded in Aug. 1962 around the time Davis was recording the 1963 album Quiet Nights. Columbia Records was preparing a various artists Christmas album. They asked Davis to record a song for the album with Bob Dorough. Davis wasn't crazy about the idea but he went along with it to please Columbia. Blue Xmas was one of two songs recorded at the session. The band was Wayne Shorter on tenor sax, Frank Rehak on trombone, Paul Chambers on bass, Jimmy Cobb on drums and Willie Bobo on congas. This session has historical significance as it was the first time Shorter recorded with Davis. He plays the sax solo on Blue Xmas. Of course Shorter continued to play with Davis until he left to form Weather Report in 1970. Columbia released Jingle Bell Jazz in Oct. 1962. The second song recorded at this session was Devil May Care. Both songs were released on the 1965 European Miles Davis odds and ends LP Facets which has never been released on CD. Devil May Care was added to the 1967 Davis album Sorcerer. Columbia released Jingle Bell Jazz on CD in 1990. They took six of the songs from the original Jingle Bell Jazz LP by Duke Ellington, Dave Brubeck and others and merged it with the 1981 various artists Christmas LP God Rest Ye Merry Jazzmen featuring Dexter Gordon, McCoy Tyner and others. Though traditionalists will not like the changes and will prefer the original 1962 Jingle Bell Jazz, I have heard God Rest Ye Merry Jazzmen and it's a good album. Jingle Bell Jazz is a budget CD so it's worth getting. I wish the cover was better. Here's a video for Blue Xmas (To Whom It May Concern) by Miles Davis featuring Bob Dorough.