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A Sublime Jazz Christmas (S2 | E105 & S3 | E156)


Yeah. Really. This one is extraordinary!

For the aficionado – yep – got you covered with Oscar Peterson, Dexter Gordon, and even some Cedar Walton (Thanks Mitch!). For the “I guess I like jazz but really don’t listen to it a lot crowd,” how about Duke Ellington doing some Nutcracker, Lou Rawls and Johnny Mathis & Ledisi with the Count Basie Orchestra? This one truly sparkles… I am certain you will find it simply… ‘therapeutic!” Sublime Jazz Christmas.


Just sayin’ — I will be listening to this one on repeat for the rest of the holiday season… not kidding!

The Sublime Jazz Christmas this week on Lester the Nightfly.

JUST A BIT ABOUT DEXTER GORDON Dexter Gordon (February 27, 1923 – April 25, 1990) was an American jazz tenor saxophonist, composer, bandleader, and actor. He was among the most influential early bebop musicians, which included other greats such as Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and Bud Powell. Gordon’s height was 6 feet 6 inches (198 cm), so he was also known as “Long Tall Dexter” and “Sophisticated Giant”. His studio and performance career spanned more than 40 years.

Gordon’s sound was commonly characterized as being “large” and spacious and he had a tendency to play behind the beat. He was known for inserting musical quotes into his solos, with sources as diverse as “Happy Birthday” and well-known melodies from the operas of Wagner. This is not unusual in jazz improvisation, but Gordon did it frequently enough to make it a hallmark of his style. One of his major influences was Lester Young. Gordon, in turn, was an early influence on John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins. Rollins and Coltrane then influenced Gordon’s playing as he explored hard bop and modal playing during the 1960s.

Dexter Gordon

Show Playlist – A Sublime Jazz Christmas

Song or MovementArtist / AlbumRec (Comp)
Christmas IsLou Rawls / Lou Rawls Christmas Time1967
Jingle BellsJimmy Smith / Christmas Cookin’1964
Let It SnowCount Basie Orchestra / A Very Swingin’ Basie Christmas2015
Winter WonderlandRamsey Lewis / The Sound of Christmas1961
The Nutcracker Suite Danse of the Floredoras Duke Ellington / The Nutcracker Suite1960
I’ll Be Home for ChristmasOscar Peterson / Oscar Peterson Christmas1995
The Christmas SongCount Basie Orchestra & Ledisi / A Very Swingin’ Basie Christmas1995
What Child is This?Chick Corea / Jazz to the World1995
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (Long Version)Dexter Gordon Quartet / Conversation with Dexter Gordon1980
Good Swing WenceslasCount Basie Orchestra / A Very Swingin’ Basie Christmas2015
Winter WonderlandChet Baker Quartet/Pretty / Groovy (Expanded Edition)1958
I’ll Be Home for ChristmasCount Basie Orchestra & Ledisi / A Very Swingin’ Basie Christmas2015
It Came Upon a Midnight ClearCedar Walton & Eastern Rebellion / Hot Jazz for a Cool Night1992
It’s The Holiday SeasonCount Basie Orchestra & Johnny Mathis / A Very Swingin’ Basie Christmas2015
Playlist: PJ Ewing




DJ and radio personality PJ Ewing is the host of Lester the Nightfly.

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Mary

    Wow!!! Loved this show!!! Really, really enjoyed it!! Merry Christmas PJDJ!!

    1. PJ

      Mary – so so marvelous – you jazz fiend!!!!

  2. PJ

    This HAS to be one of my best shows – and welcome all you new stations from Public Radio – so glad you are on board!!!

  3. Theodore

    It was so good I love it so much!

  4. PJ

    Updated for 2023 – this one just swings… thanks to the genius of these jazz masters!

  5. Tom Alexander

    PJ, Such a fun “making spirits bright” show. I’m sharing with my jazz aficionados father and father-in-law! I wish you and your family a merry Xmas and happy health new year. Your ole (literally) Chicago friend, Tom Alexander

    1. PJ

      Tom!!! So nice to hear from you!!! Would love to catch up!!!

      And thank you!!


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