Miles Davis (featuring Bob Dorough): Blue Xmas (To Whom It May Concern)

Track

Miles Davis (featuring Bob Dorough): Blue Xmas (To Whom It May Concern)

Artist

Miles Davis (trumpet)

CD

Jingle Bell Swing (Columbia/Legacy)

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Musicians:

Miles Davis (trumpet), Bob Dorough (vocals), Wayne Shorter (tenor sax), Frank Rehak (trombone), Paul Chambers (bass), Jimmy Cobb (drums),

Willie Correa (congas, bongos)

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Composed by Miles Davis & Bob Dorough

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Recorded: New York, August 21, 1962

Albumcovermilesdavis-jinglebellswing

Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

The cynical, bah-humbug "Blue Xmas" was probably not what Columbia executives had in mind in 1962 when they asked Miles Davis to record a track for a planned Christmas jazz compilation album. Davis turned to Bob Dorough, whom he had met in Los Angeles in the late '50s and would have sit in with his band to sing "Baltimore Oriole." Miles dug Dorough's hip, laid-back singing style. Dorough left L.A. with a song in hand, met with Miles and arranger Gil Evans, and was soon in the studio with Miles's sextet singing the incendiary words to "Blue Xmas."

Miles in his autobiography ungraciously dismisses the whole affair: " … they thought it would be hip if I had this silly singer named Bob Dorough on the album with Gil arranging … The less said about it the better, but it did let me play with Wayne Shorter for the first time…." Actually, Evans's arrangement of the short track is quite representative, the horns and even the bongos skillfully enhancing the effect of Dorough's guileless vocal. "When you're blue at Xmas time / You see through all the waste / All the sham, all the haste / And plain old bad taste … It's a time when the greedy give a dime to the needy." This is indeed a Christmas song for those who hate Christmas, and you even get a Coltrane-like Shorter solo as an extra added bonus, or stocking stuffer, if you will.

Reviewer: Scott Albin

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  • 1 pat adams // Dec 23, 2008 at 06:57 PM
    I LOVE CHRISTMAS, AND ALL THE HOLIDAYS, AND I JUST LOVE THIS SONG! I'VE LOOKED ALL OVER FOR A CD OF IT.
  • 2 Ken Hyams // Dec 23, 2008 at 11:33 PM
    This tune is included on Hipsters' Holiday: Vocal Jazz & R&B Classics available from Amazon.com.