It's “home for the holidays” this week on Riverwalk Jazz with a feast of songs for the season, served up in a classic jazz band style. Don’t be a grouch or a grinch; break out the ornaments and crank up the volume as The Jim Cullum Jazz Band and their friends turn on a festive mood with a concert chock full of music for trimming the tree, stuffing stockings and writing holiday cards.
Adding zest to our concert are excerpts of Louis Armstrong's reading of Clement Clarke Moore's "Twas the Night Before Christmas." Made for very young children, this iconic piece turned out to be Armstrong's last recording.
Along the way The Jim Cullum Jazz Band presents a set of holiday sing-along carols from "We Three Kings" to "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen." Piano virtuoso Dick Hyman joins the band with his improvisation, "Jingle Bells Swing." Reedman Bob Wilber offers a playful reminder that "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town," and John Sheridan gets a standing ovation with "Nutcracker Rag," a spectacular solo stride-piano interpretation of the "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies" from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker. Vocalist Becky Kilgore stops by with Irving Berlin's seasonal favorite, "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm," and Jim and the band perform the Bob Crosby band classic, "Skater's Waltz in Swingtime."
As Louis Armstrong said with a nod to Clement Clarke Moore: "Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night. A very happy Christmas, and that goes from Satchmo, too!"
Photo credit for Home Page: Vintage Christmas Card. Image courtesy operationsanta.com.
Text based on Riverwalk Jazz script by Margaret Moos Pick ©2009