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Night Lights Classic Jazz

Have Yourself a Very Quiet Christmas

Night Lights pays tribute to the holidays in the mellowest of moods.

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Night Lights holiday

Photo: Flickr

Seasonal Night Lights greetings.

Take a break from the frazzled and frantic vibe of the holidays with “Have Yourself a Very Quiet Christmas.” This episode of Night Lights emphasizes the more laidback side of holiday music; even “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” gets a cool-jazz treatment from the Dave Brubeck Quartet, while Joe Pass delivers a reflective guitar version of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and Paul Desmond joins the Modern Jazz Quartet for a poignant reading of “Greensleeves.” There are some little-heard and unconventional seasonal tracks such as Judy Holliday’s “It Must Be Christmas” and hardbop pianist Horace Silver’s “Peace,” and tasteful nods to standard holiday-jazz fare such as Vince Guaraldi’s “What Child Is This” and two of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn’s arrangements from The Nutcracker Suite.

Music Heard On This Episode

It Came Upon A Midnight Clear
Carla Bley — Carla's Christmas Carols (ECM, 2009)
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It Came Upon A Midnight Clear
Carla Bley — Carla's Christmas Carols (ECM, 2009)
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Variations on God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Modern Jazz Quartet — Complete Atlantic Studio Recordings 1956-64 (Mosaic Records, 2011)
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Greensleeves
Modern Jazz Quartet/Paul Desmond — Live (Sony, 1993)
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Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
Dave Brubeck — Jingle Bell Jazz (Sony, 1990)
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Snowfall
Claude Thornhill — 1947 Transcriptions (Hep, 1999)
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It Must Be Christmas
Judy Holliday/Gerry Mulligan — Judy Holliday And Gerry Mulligan (DRG, 1990)
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What Child Is This?
Vince Guaraldi — A Charlie Brown Christmas (Fantasy, 2012)
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White Christmas (midpoint music bed)
Barry Harris — An Uptown Christmas (Uptown, 2000)
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Sugar Rum Cherry
Duke Ellington — Three Suites (Sony, 2008)
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Danse Of The Floreadores
Duke Ellington — Three Suites (Sony, 2008)
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The Christmas Song
Houston Person/Etta Jones — Christmas With Houston Person And Etta Jones (32 Jazz, 1997)
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Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
Joe Pass — Six String Santa (Cobra Records, 2010)
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Silent Night
Dinah Washington — Have Yourself A Jazzy LittleChristmas (Polygram, 1989)
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Peace
Horace Silver — Blowin' The Blues Away (Blue Note, 1999)
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David Brent Johnson

Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, David Brent Johnson moved to Bloomington in 1991. He is an alumnus of Indiana University, and began working with WFIU in 2002. Currently, David serves as jazz producer and systems coordinator at the station. His interests include literature, history, music, writing, and movies.

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