With Christmas closing in fast, Jazz 88.3 is ramping up our holiday music accordingly. In the days leading up to Sunday and Monday, we're increasing the number of holiday tunes you hear during the programming day. Plus, this week our Midnight CDs are the newest addtions to our holiday jazz library. The pickings have been pretty slim as far as new jazz releases go this season in comparison to past years. But the handful that have come in are quite good.
Last night we featured Kerry Strayer and his orchestra with "Christmas in Kansas City." Strayer is the musical director for the Plaza Lighting Ceremony in K.C. every year and he's put together a collection of some of his really fine arrangements of holiday favorites. Tonight it's "Tidings of Comfort and Joy" by Skafish, a pianist out of Chicago who made his name in the rock and New Wave genres in the 80's, but has now crossed the street to the jazz side of things. Some really nice trio arrangments. Mack Avenue Records has put out their second compilation of music from some of its stable of artists, most notably the young trumpeter Sean Jones, but also the Gerald Wilson Orchestra, the Hot Club of Detoit, and Oscar Castro-Neves. "Jazz Yule Love II" will be featured Wednesday night. And then on Thursday night, our Featured CD for December, "The Harlem Nutcracker," will be spotlighted. This was originally out in 1999, but didn't get widely released. It's a really fine addition to our holiday collection featuring David Berger and his Sultans of Swing Big Band performing music based on Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite, including three Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn arrangements.
All of our vintage jazz programs on Sunday along with Bob Naujoks Gentle Jazz will be in the holiday mode, as will Nightbreeze Sunday night, highlighted by specials from the Paul Winter Consort and by Ian Anderson. And then from midnight Sunday to midnight Monday, KCCK will have our annual mix of non-stop holiday classics and newer releases. Included will be the debut of our Jazz at Riverside concert with Dan Knight, A Swingin' Jazz Christmas, at 10am on Christmas Day, and a special with Dave Brubeck combining holiday music and conversation with the legendary pianist at 6pm that night.
Then it's on to our End-of-the-Year specials the following week, which we'll talk about more in an upcoming post. Enjoy!
Bob Stewart, Program Director