Yes, devotees of the wassail bowl and buche de Noel, it is almost time to begin playing music of the season--even though shopping malls have been playing "Silver Bells" and Alvin and the Chipmunks sing "Messiah" since Hallowe'en ended.
We once worked at a very civilized radio station that would not allow Christmas music until December 15, and then only selections that would not put your teeth on edge. No "Rock Around the Christmas Tree" by the Berlin Phil.
So here's our approved playlist:
-- "Sleighride," by Art Pepper and Richie "Alto Madness" Cole. A wild romp down the hill, with Roger Kellaway at the reins.
-- "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," by Dexter Gordon. Judy Garland would have liked it, too.
-- "Zat You, Santy Claus?" by Louis Armstrong. Can't go wrong with Satch.
-- "England's Carol" by the Modern Jazz Quartet. This is really "God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen," given an elegant spin by the MJQ.
-- "The Christmas Song," written one sizzling summer day by Bob Wells and Mel Torme, one of the few Christmas pop pieces that is actually pretty good. Almost everyone has recorded it, but our choice is the Jane Monheit version.
And don't forget Vince Guaraldi. Have yourself a tuneful little Christmas.