’Tis the season to be jolly, and all that, here at the ARChive. We’ve just completed another successful Holiday Sale and soon we will be off for a bit. So we thought we would put something in the window that is appropriate for the season.
Mr. Santa’s Boogie is a 1985 compilation of cool R&B, blues and jazz tracks that were originally issued on the legendary Savoy Records label.
Savoy is mostly known as one of the labels that issued early Charlie Parker records. Indeed, when the label was reactivated and its catalog was reissued, about 90% of the releases were jazz recordings. Savoy also recorded some of the best R&B artists of the period, too. Some of them appear on this record singing sensational seasonal songs.
Each side of the album kicks off with a version of “White Christmas;” a very hip vocal group version by The Ravens on side one and on the other a rendition recorded as an aircheck on Christmas Day 1948 by Charlie Parker. Other Christmas standards that appear here are “Silent Night”—in the full-throated, almost shouting style of Big Maybelle; “Frosty the Snowman” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” by the unknown A.B. Green who gives these songs a complete novelty-pop treatment. The rest of the songs are originals, mostly fine, fine, superfine, R&B songs with a holiday spirit, such as “Far Away Christmas Blues” by Little Esther with Mel Walker and the Johnny Otis Orchestra; two different songs called “Christmas Blues,” one by Gatemouth Moore, the other by Washboard Pete; and the title track by The Marshall Brothers, a very swingin’ jump number.
So while we will be in and out until after the New Year, we hope you dig all the trappings of the holiday season, no matter what holiday you celebrate.