The student news site of Whitney Young Magnet High School in Chicago, Illinois.

BEACON

The student news site of Whitney Young Magnet High School in Chicago, Illinois.

BEACON

The student news site of Whitney Young Magnet High School in Chicago, Illinois.

BEACON

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Jazz, That’s What I Want For Christmas!

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Today’s modern jazz is slowly making its way toward the younger generation. Although very different from jazz standards such as Misty (composed by Eroll Garner) or Dream A Little Dream Of Me (written by Gus Khan and music by Fabian Andre and Wilbur Schwandt), it has definite potential in the current music industry. 

Traditional jazz is often taken as lightly as Muzak or simple background music, though there is an immense amount of rich history and tradition to be understood. It has been a major part of African American culture and dates back to the early 1900s. Due to the significance of jazz’s origins, this particularly new form of jazz may not be able to perfectly replicate the essence of its traditional form. However, it can still successfully incorporate some similar aspects. For example, the song Valentine by Icelandic-Chinese singer/songwriter Laufey, who recently went viral on TikTok and reached over 96.8 million streams on Spotify, includes romantic lyrics, a tender melody on the comforting piano, and a deep, soothing voice recreating that of vocal jazz. To differentiate, it has a catchy melody that makes people want to listen to it on repeat, a typical pop element, creating an immaculate blend of multiple musical styles. 

Christmas and the winter season is a time of celebration, nostalgia, and most of all—music. Jazz is associated with this time of year for a reason. It encompasses the feeling of watching snow fall through sleepy air, creating a mood that is cold and solemn, but beautiful and affectionate on Christmas Day. That feeling hasn’t changed much since the epitome of the jazz age and, despite the many differences, jazz today continues to warm the hearts of people just as the classics have always done. Catch a glimpse of what jazz/jazz pop is like now (and before) in these Christmas holiday songs:

     NOW — Christmas Dreaming, Stella Cole  

     BEFORE — Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, Ella Fitzgerald  

     BEFORE — That’s What I Want For Christmas, Nancy Wilson  

     NOW — Better Than Snow, Norah Jones & Laufey  

     NOW — Warm In December, Samara Joy  

     BEFORE — Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Bill Evans 

Merry Christmas!

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