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Posted January 4, 2008
This book has an oustanding collection of Christmas songs - they aren't carols, they are popular songs, including tunes like the essential 'Christmas Song 'Chestnuts Roasting'', 'Silver Bells', 'White Christmas', 'Let it Snow' and others that lend themselves ideally to the chord melody approach. There are also jazz versions of tunes like 'Jingle Bell Rock', 'Frosty the Snowman', and the must-have 'I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus' that are fun to play because they are so familiar. The arrangements are presented in standard notation and tablature. Most of them are pretty challenging for the intermediate guitarist or the beginning jazz player, and some of them 'like 'I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus'' are over-arranged in my opinion, with chord voicings that are so dense and complex they detract from the song. If the songs are too complex for you, don't be afraid to simplify them by just using the lead chords and replacing any voicings you don't like or that are too tough with single notes - if that approach was good enough for Johnny Smith, it can't be all bad! Even a beginner can have fun using the tab to the play melodies and then work up from there. Overall, a very fun book and a welcome change from all the carol-based books. Even if you just master a couple of songs every season, you can have years of fun, and if are a jazz expert, you can go out and gig on Christmas Eve right away! If I was a guitar teacher, I would also use this book to inject a little holiday cheer and jazz concepts into lessons.
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