Every December I try to freshen up my holiday listening by adding some new music to the rotation. This year it’s a piece by Leonard Feather and Ralph Burns, “Winter Sequence, A Seasonal Suite for Rhythmic Reindeer.”
Dating from 1954, it’s a really fun set of grooving concerto-type pieces that highlight different soloists. Top flight musicians, too: Joe Wilder (tp); Kai Winding (tb); Jimmy Buffington (frh); Bill Barber, (tuba); Herbie Mann (fl,ts); Vinnie Dean (piccolo,as); Danny Bank (fl,bs); Ralph Burns himself (p); Billy Bauer (g); Oscar Pettiford (b,cello); and Osie Johnson (d). It swings. Is it Christmasy? Sure! (Listen carefully for the quotes of “Jingle Bells” that Burns tosses into a few of the tunes.) I’m going to pair this with Ellington’s “Nutcracker Suite” and create a new holiday playlist. A pretty ideal soundtrack for kitchen activities like baking up some cookies.