Various Artists

Christmas Guitars

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AllMusic Review by

This strange but fun collection of Christmas guitar instrumentals was put together as a benefit for the National Coalition for the Homeless, and includes everyone from rockers like Al Anderson and Adrian Belew to jazz players and hardcore folkies. The results are wildly uneven, but definitely worth listening to. Though the album begins inauspiciously with Nile Rodgers' supremely wanky multi-tracked take on "White Christmas," things pick up fairly quickly, mainly thanks to the jazz players; Larry Coryell's version of "The Christmas Song" is lovely, and the late Emily Remler turns in a beautiful jazz arrangement of "We Three Kings." Adrian Belew's heavily electronic version of "We Three Kings" is hilarious. Nina Gerber's "Little Drummer Boy" and Terry Garthwaite's "Wind Through the Olive Trees" tie for prettiest, and John Scofield's "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" gets the award for Most Soulful. A fun outing, all in all, if not quite essential.

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