12 Songs with Ben Schenck of the Panorama Jazz Band

Ben Schenck on clarinet.

Ben Schenck on clarinet.

New Orleans' Panorama Jazz Band folds a world of cultures and musical styles into its version of traditional jazz. In 2014, bandleader Ben Schenck and host Alex Rawls started a conversation on Panorama’s relationship to Christmas music starting with “Christmas (Like Ya Just Don’t Care),” a very New Orleans remake of “God Rest Ye Gentlemen.”

“When you hear ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’ in a major key, I told my band when we rehearsed it, Here’s when the cartoon mice come out,” Schenck said then.

In today’s conversation, he tells the story of how the version came to be and considers what it has in common with jazz organ player Jimmy Smith’s version of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.” Ben and Alex talk about how Christmas music fits into the band’s business, and how spiritual his versions of holiday music are once they’ve gone through the process of being remade as Panorama songs.

Music on today's show is available on Panorama's Bandcamp page on Song of The Month Club: Good Music for You.