Eartha Kitt made Christmas songs sexy with her famous jazz tune, “Santa Baby.” Now, we all can’t purr like Ms. Kitt or rock a red cap with matching lingerie, but we can bop our heads to the jazzy orchestral melody.
One thing that Kitt’s song did, other than seduce, was bring jazz into the Christmas tradition.
The song was introduced in 1953 and has become a jazz standard, being covered hundreds of times by singers through the years.
Popular music seems to take over when it comes to cranking out Christmas classics, but there are tons of jazz musicians who have contributed great songs to add to the holiday repertoire.
Being in the holiday spirit, I thought I would share a few of my favorite Christmas jazz tunes.
The classy Ella Fitzgerald, from her 1960 album, Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas
“What are you doing New Year’s Eve”
Satchmo takes Christmas back to the Crescent City with this swinging tune.
“Christmas in New Orleans”
Billie Holiday doesn’t need anybody for the holiday’s, just love, and she proves it, with this jazzy ballad.
“I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm”
The smooth, sexy sounds of trumpeter Chris Botti , from his 2002 album, December
“Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow”
The legendary tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon gets in the holiday spirit with this tune from God Rest Ye Merry Jazzmen, a great compilation of Christmas classics from innovative jazz musicians.
“Have yourself a merry little Christmas”
What better way to hear Frosty the Snowman than by soulful trumpeter Roy Haregrove.
“Frosty the Snowman”
Can’t have a Christmas song list without Ms. Kitt. Listen as she seduces the audience with this classic tune.