Recorded in February and August 1969, pianist Pearson was joined by bassist Bob Cranshaw, drummer Mickey Roker and percussionist Airto Moreira. The choices are a mix between children's songs and balladsSleigh Ride, Little Drummer Boy, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Jingle Bells, Old Fashioned Christmas, Santa Claus Is Coming to Town, Go Tell It on the Mountain, Wassail Song, Silent Night and O' Little Town of Bethlehem.
What makes this album special is Pearson's hushed way of telling each song's story, complete with touches of jazz and soul.
JazzWax tracks: You'll find Duke Pearson's Merry Ole
JazzWax clip: Here's Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas...
And now here are my previous year's picks for the JazzWax Holiday Album Hall of Fame...
2011Urbie Green: A Cool Yule Tide (1954)
2010Eddie Higgins: Christmas Songs (2004)
2009June Christy: This Time of Year (1961)
2008Jo Stafford's Happy Holidays: I Love the Winter Weather (1950s)