Five servings of Thanksgiving jazz

As we all know, no matter what genre of music you prefer, there is no shortage of Christmas music to listen to each year. In some extreme cases, these songs start getting radio spins as early as October. Jazz is no exception, with the new Michael Buble Christmas CD hitting the shelves this year October 24th.

But what about Thanksgiving jazz? Perhaps some of these aren’t necessarily “Thanksgiving specific,” but are a few tracks to rotate while having that second (or third or fourth) helping.

1. The Thanksgiving Theme by The Vince Guaraldi Trio


To many, Vince Guaraldi is best known as the man behind the music of the Charlie Brown television specials, with A Charlie Brown Christmas being the most popular. But Charlie did Thanksgiving too, and Guaraldi was there with his trio to provide the soundtrack for that special too.
2. Thanksgiving by Charles Earland


From the album Stomp!, which was recorded only six months before organist Charles Earland passed away, the tune Thanksgiving offers you some energy after the Tryptophan from the turkey has started to put you to sleep.

3. The Gravy Waltz by Bill Henderson


What would a Thanksgiving dinner be without gravy? Vocalist Bill Henderson teams up with the Oscar Peterson Trio, eagerly anticipating the big meal via the smell from the kitchen.

4. Hey Pete, Let’s Eat More Meat by Dizzy Gillespie


Dizzy gets the band all wound up in this one and makes it clear that he doesn’t discriminate which meat he and “Pete” will eat, as long as there is more of it. A nice trumpet solo, a little bit of scatting … the full meal in this song.

5. All That Meat and No Potatoes by Louis Armstrong


You have to have potatoes for Thanksgiving, and Pops explains all of this in his version of the Fats Waller composition.

Doc pays tribute to Dizzy – 1958

Trumpeter and bandleader Doc Severinsen recently celebrated his 83rd birthday. After an extremely brief retirement following the end of Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show, Doc can be found back on the road again teaming up with the group El Ritmo De La Vida. At 83, his chops are still in great shape, and his wardrobe is still flashy.

Here is a video originally from a program called The Subject is Jazz from 1958, where we see Doc in a rare setting outside of a big band.

Happy Birthday Doc!

A Friendly Friday Trumpet Battle

Some fun old footage with Dizzy Gillespie, Roy Eldridge, Ted Buckner and Bill Coleman. Enjoy!

Audio Blog: Jazz Perspectives with KPLU’s Weekday Jazz Hosts

KPLU’s four weekday jazz hosts, Dick Stein, Robin Lloyd, Abe Beeson, and myself, individually sat down and recorded thoughts on a variety of topics related to jazz.

With all of us coming from different backgrounds and upbringings, you will hear very different and interesting perspectives on topics ranging from what the first jazz we remember ever hearing, what music was playing when we were growing up, what how we got hooked on jazz, what live jazz performance blew our mind, what jazz musicians we think are doing great things today, and, if we could pick anyone to see play one song in concert, alive or dead, who would it be.

Enjoy the first Groove Notes Audio Blog by clicking here.

Watch Teddy Wilson, Benny Goodman, and Lionel Hampton play Moonglow, as picked by Dick Stein:

Watch Thelonious Monk play ‘Round Midnight, as picked by Abe Beeson:

Watch Michael Brecker, as picked by Kevin Kniestedt:

Watch Dizzy Gillespie play Manteca, as picked by Robin Lloyd: