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Guitar Christmas

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Album Review

Jazz guitarist Jimmy Ponder attempts to take on several holiday standards on Guitar Christmas. His smooth, light approach is a nice touch, making these songs flow without overloading them with flashy playing. His rendition of Mel Tormé's "Christmas Song" may be the best song on the album, a low-key version that emphasizes the heartfelt sentiment of the original. There are a few other good renditions, but the problem arises that many of these songs are quite long. Despite the classy approach to the material, songs like "Merry Christmas, Baby" do not maintain the listener's interest for seven minutes. Ponder is a fantastic guitarist, and this album is something that guitar jazz fans may really like, but unfortunately it will probably not translate to the average listener.


Born: 10 May 1946 in Pittsburgh, PA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

An excellent guitarist with a soulful sound and the ability to uplift any funky jazz date, Jimmy Ponder has appeared on many recordings during his long career, over 80 as a sideman and 15 as a leader. Ponder began playing guitar when he was 14 and considers Wes Montgomery and Kenny Burrell to be his two main early influences and Wes Montgomery later on. Offered a job with Charles Earland after having only played guitar three years, Ponder waited until he graduated from high school and then spent...
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Guitar Christmas, Jimmy Ponder
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