Down Beat - 12/914 Stars
- Very Good - "...He performs lead and accompaniment simultaneously...equal doses of wit and invention..."
Solo Performer: Tuck Andress (guitar).
Recorded at Binky Studios, Menlo Park, California.
Personnel: Tuck Andress (guitar).
Recording information: Binky Studios, Menlo Park, CA.
Six-string superhero Tuck Andress, who normally records as half of a pop-jazz duo with his wife Patti, is at his best on this collection of traditional Christmas songs, all rendered on solo electric guitar. You'll find all of the seasonal tunes you know and love, from "Winter Wonderland" to "Deck the Halls," and although there are a few strange moments (such as the bluesy licks on his arrangement of "Ave Maria") it's mostly nothing but good, cheerful, jazzy fun. Andress plays guitar with one-man-band virtuosity, executing basslines, melodies and chordal accompaniment simultaneously, all with only two hands and no overdubs. But the sound is never gimmicky, and he plays with both humor and taste throughout. Highlights include his mind-blowing arrangement of "Jingle Bells" (which ends with a hilarious, whiny steel guitar lick) and his theme-with-variations approach to "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen." ~ Rick Anderson