Cool Yule/Airmen of Note

November 21, 2013



What do you get when you mix the “Airmen of Note,” a swinging big band ensemble that also flies our planes and help keep our country safe, “Chattanooga Choo Choo,” and “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” with a singing group that sounds like  the Pied Pipers and a singer who sings like a young Ella Fitzgerald, only better? You get the sleeper Xmas CD of 2013 released by Naxos in time for the holidays.


The “Airmen of Note,” a seventeen piece jazz group with strings and vocals, have been around since 1950 carrying on the tradition of the Glenn Miller Army Air Corp dance band that perished during WWII. They are a touring group as well as a teaching ensemble and have over 30 CD’s available. They have been featured with the likes of Sarah Vaughan and Phil Woods and arranged by some of the best orchestrators in the world.

While the soloists are names you’re not familiar with you won’t be disappointed with their skills as they seem to be right at home with all of this material. If you want a laid back west coast style you’ll certainly enjoy “Have Yourself A Merry Li’l Christmas” with its delicate piano, muted trumpet, and smooth sounds from the reeds and brass. “Peanut Brittle Brigade Watch” is Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker arranged by Duke Ellington in an upbeat jazz style. Big band Latin style is the mood for “Up On The Housetop” with nice improvisational solos from the trombone, tenor sax, and trumpet. Paige Martin, the lead vocalist, has a refreshing voice and is featured on four numbers including some scat on “Here Comes Santa Claus,” as well as performing the seldom played “Sentimental Santa Baby,” a takeoff on “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend.” “Faithful in Paris” does Basie proud and Steve Allen would be very happy with the jazzy upbeat “Cool Yule” featuring the Andrews Sisters.

If you’re into the big band sound turn up the volume and enjoy!

Track Listing:


1… Jing, Jing, Jing (3:58)

2… Santanooga Choo Choo (2:55)

3… Up On The Housetop (3:49)

4… Here Comes Santa Claus (5:32)

5… I’ll Be Home For Christmas (3:47)

6… A Little Drummer Boy Boogie (3:44)

7… Sentimental Santa Baby (3:24)

8… Faithful In Paris (3:20)

9… The Christmas Blues (3:00)

10.Let It Snow Brothers (3:26)

11.Auld Lang Cha Cha Cha (3:39)

12.Merry Christmas Baby (4:27)

13.I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus (3:16)

14.Cool Yule (2:50)

15.We Three Chipmunks (5:28)

16.Peanut Brittle Brigade March (4:50)

17.Have Yourself A Merry Li’l Christmas (3:24)

Total Time 64:57