SA-X-MAS: “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” With Saxophone

Reading Time: 2 minutesNovember 24, 2020

SA-X-MAS: “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” With Saxophone

In this article I focus on one of the two all-time-favorites of mine: “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas“. It turns out I am not the only one that feels like that about this song, it is a favorite among many saxophonists. From the versions featured in this article I like Dexter Gordon’s and the version that features Bob Mintzer (most original approach) best.

Below you can listen to various versions by various saxophonists, it is very nice to hear how they all have tried to make it their own.

Enjoy listening … and have yourself a merry little Christmas!

Saxophonist: DEXTER GORDON

Dexter Gorden (Los Angeles 27th of February 1923 – Philadelphia 25th of April 1990) America, was one of the greatest Hardbop tenorsaxophonists in Jazz history.

This version was recorded on the 4th of November 1980 in Columbia’s 30th Street Studios in New York. Dexter Gordon was accompanied by Kirk Lightsey (piano), David Eubanks (double bass) and Eddie Gladden (drums).

Saxophonist: TOM SCOTT

Thomas Wright “Tom” Scott (born on the 19th of May 1948) is an American Jazzrock/Fusion saxophonist and composer.

This song was recorded in 1988 and released on the album “A GRP Christmas Collection vol.1“, accompanied by Dean Parks (gitar), Don Grusin (keyboards), Neil Stubenhaus (bassgitar), Mike Fisher (Percussion, Crotales) and Vinnie Colaiuta (drums).

Saxophonist: KENNY G

The most commercially known saxophonist doesn’t let any chance pass by to boost his popularity and 6 Christmas albums (so far) did do that trick for him.

This version was recorded in 1994 and released on the album “Miracles: The Holiday Album“, where he works together with Walter Afanasieff who played all other instruments on this recording and took care of the production as a whole.


Grover Washington (December 12, 1943, Buffalo (New York) – December 17, 1999, New York City) was an American jazz-fusion, funk/soul and “Smooth Jazz” saxophonist.

On the recording of this track for the album “Breath of Heaven: A Holiday Collection” released in 1997 Washington was accompanied by Hiram Bullock (gitar & keyboards),Gerald Veasley (bassgitar), Steve Wolf (drums) and Pablo Batista (percussie).

Saxophonist: DAVE KOZ

David S. “Dave” Koz recorded and released 4 Christmas albums (so far): “December Makes Me Feel This Way“, “A Smooth Jazz Christmas“, “Memories of a Winter’s Night“, “The 25th Of December“.

This classic was recorded in 2001 and was released on the album “A Smooth Jazz Christmas“, featuring various artists alongside Dave Coz.

Saxophonist: BOB MINTZER

Bob Mintzer (born Januari 27, 1953) is an American Jazz saxophonist who played with many great musicians from the Jazz and Jazz-Fusion scene, among the band Yellowjackets.

With this recording he is a featuring artist on Sabina Hank’s “Blue Notes On Christmas” album.


Spyro Gyra is an American fusionband from Buffalo (New York). De group was formed mid ’70s by saxophonist Jay Beckenstein (born Mei 14th, 1951 in New York).

This track was released in 2003 by Spyro Gyra on the Christmas album “A Night Before Christmas” with many Christmas classics.

Saxophonist: DAVID SANBORN

David Sanborn (born July 30th 1945) is a American saxophonist mostly known from playing Jazzrock, fusion and crossovermuziek, and occasionally Jazz. He performed also with many well known pop music artists.

This version was recorded in 2008.

You can listen to all the youtubes shared above in this playlist.

MORE CHRISTMAS SAXOPHONE: “The Christmas Song” and Various Other Christmas Songs.