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Putting together your holiday music playlist?  Considering gifts of music?  My pick is Bobby Timmons’ Holiday Soul, on Prestige Records.  This rerelease by Fantasy Records of the original 1965 recording includes Bobby Timmons on piano, Butch Warren on bass and Walter Perkins on drums.  All the well known classics are improvised including Deck the Halls, White Christmas and my favorite We Three Kings.  You don’t need to be a jazz enthusiast to appreciate the “glittering” and “stimulating” nature of the tunes.  You don’t even have to enjoy the holidays.  As Jack McKinney wrote in the original liner notes, “…this album is to be played in June as well as in January, for joy and jazz are not confined to the calendar.  It is as cool and as warm as your own senses, and the effect is stimulating in any climate.” 

Fantasy Records, Berkeley California, acquired the Prestige Records catalog in 1971 and in 1983 established the subsidiary record label Original Jazz Classics, rereleasing for serious jazz enthusiasts a series of reproductions from Prestige.  Holiday Soul is one of them.  Review a listing of Fantasy Original Jazz Classics recordings held in the Charters Archive of Vernacular African American Musical Culture.

Kristin Eshelman, Curator of Multimedia Collections