Jazz and Christmas music seem to enjoy a special relationship. Whether it was Nat King Cole’s voice or the way Vince Guaraldi and Oscar Peterson tickled the ivories, the two musical worlds have enjoyed a fruitful two-way street for which even Christmas music haters tend to have a soft spot. That could be why we’re collectively more tolerant of a new Christmas tune if it sounds like a good old-fashioned Ella Fitzgerald throwback. In the best way possible, that’s what Jazzy Ash’s new yuletide number “Fly Through the Sky” is.
Jazzy Ash, the stage name for Ashli St. Armant, is a Los Angeles-based singer and arts educator dropping two Christmas recordings simultaneously on 18 November. “Fly Through the Sky” is self-explanatory in its subject. “You know the rules, don’t you? / Leave out a treat or two,” sings Ash in her easy-going voice, buoyed by a tinkling piano, sighing violin, and brushed drums. “Maybe just tonight / If you stand in the moonlight just right / You will see Santa Claus’ reindeer fly through the sky.”
The other tune is the standard “Zat You Santa Claus?” Here she is supported by horns, an organ, and an accordion, ending the cover with a plain-spoken “oh, that’s him alright” before the last note. Both songs are out now on the SoundCloud account JazzyAsh.