Yesteday, I mentioned one of my favorite Christmas music albums. This is another of them. It fits under the cover of our Holiday Music Fest because I'm sure it's little-known, as is the artist. Though he'll probably be known to some.
The album of piano music is Yulestride, and the performer is Butch Thompson. I posted pieces from him in the past -- including a selection from this album last year. But his name might also be familiar because for years he was the music director of A Prairie Home Companion.
The title comes from a type of Dixieland panio playing called "stride." And all of these Christmas songs and carols are performed that way. I don't find that Christmas songs always fit perfectly with every style of music, and that particularly includes jaz. The sense of familiary and tradition is one of the cores of the season, and that's somewhat antithetical to jazz. But Dixieland isn't as freeform, where the melody line tends to be strong throughout. More to the point is that Butch Thompson's interpretation are so vibrant and joyous, as well as impeccably mixing traditional with stride, that I can't help smiling throughout.
This is one of those. "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear." If you like this sort of thing as much as I do and want to hear more, you can find it here.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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