32nd day of Christmas

With the reversal of Jazz Monday and Choral Wednesday this week, it’s time for some jazz!

The first piano piece I ever played in public was a piano duet version of “Let There Be Peace On Earth” that my Mom and I played in church. While this piece probably has great sentimental attachment for me as a result, I think it’s still a very sweet song with a message that continues to be most relevant. I love this version performed by jazz greats, Harry Connick Jr. and Kim Burrell.

Secretly, I wish I was a great improvisational jazz/blues pianist… but that is not likely to ever happen! In the meantime, I can revel in Harry Connick Jr.’s jazz piano amazingness and just dream. 

23rd Day of Christmas

I don’t think we can have a jazz category without including greats Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. Their voices are so legendary they really don’t need introduction. So here they are!

(I also suggest you listen to this fantastic old recording of Louis Armstrong reading ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas)

16th day of Christmas

The first two Jazz Mondays featured two Canadian Jazz greats. While I’m not sure I would put Michael Buble on the level of Diana Krall and Oscar Peterson, he has undoubtedly raised the profile of Canadian pop-jazz big band music. I really love his tunes- tunes where you just can’t resist tapping your toe or singing along. Like yesterday, this is just plain happy music.

2nd day of Christmas

Those who know me know I am not a morning person. Monday mornings are sometimes the most difficult and I find life is better if I can take a bit of time over my Monday morning coffee to make that transition back to the busy pace of an average week day. I think that a bit of jazz makes that transition even easier. So, each Monday this month, I’m going to feature a favourite piece Christmas music performed by a favourite jazz musician. Today, I start with one of my favourites.

 I am a pianist. I live in Nanaimo. And I love jazz.

Pianist + Nanaimo + Jazz = Diana Krall
Even before I moved to her hometown, I loved Diana Krall. In addition to her great musicianship, her recordings manage to feel so intimate- almost like she’s in the room. I am jealous of her amazing piano skills and the simplicity she brings to her music. I could (and do) listen to it for hours on end.
If you are also a fan, you might want to check out her versions of the Christmas Song, Jingle Bells and White Christmas