Jimmy Ponder

Guitar Christmas

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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.

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