Thompson was a long-time music director of A Prairie Home Companion. In fact, I think he was the second one, after the Powermilk Biscuit Band. "Stride" is a kind of Dixieland jazz, which is how he arranged all the songs and plays them. And what I love about the album is that the style -- completely un-Christmaslike as it is at its foundation -- blends wonderfully with the music and keeps their sensibility in the forefront, filled with a joyousness.
(If you like the music, you can find Yulestride here. The CD is out of distribution, so it's a bit pricey, but the MP3 files can be dowloaded for a very reasonable price.)
Here's a couple of songs from the album. The first is "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear," which might be one of the last songs you'd think of with stride jazz. But it works as it eventually kicks in his fingers fly across the keyboard.
And from the other end of the spectrum, slowed down and full of lovely stride texture, we'll follow that up with "God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen."