Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Joe Negri - Guitars for Christmas (2003)

Released 12 years ago, I finally purchased this CD this year and it immediately became the most played Christmas CD in this place.  This is a swinging run through 18 traditional Christmas classics and one original; all with two electric jazz guitars - Negri and Marty Ashby.  But where might I have heard the name Joe Negri before?

Well, in addition to teaching jazz guitar as an adjunct professor at Duquesne University, the University of Pittsburgh, and Carnegie Mellon University, Joe was also known to millions of public television viewers (including myself) as "Handyman Negri" on Mister Rogers' Neighborhood:

Lady Elaine and Handyman Negri
Episode 1556, February 3, 1986
But I digress. If you want a new take on old standards and enjoy the classic, clean electric guitar sound (à la Les Paul), then give this one a try. In my limited experience, this disc works great at night with a warm drink and under the light provided by only a fire in the fireplace and whatever lights you've got on your tree.  The arrangements are tasteful while the playing is intimate and impeccable. I wouldn't be surprised if more Negri CD purchases are in my future.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: Did not chart

Tracks: 19 tracks, 52 minutes.  I get lost in the sound of all of them; it's a good listen from top-to-bottom. Can't pick favorites today (well, maybe God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen). I'd never thought of Gerry Niewood's composition Joy as a Christmas song, but it fits here. The original piece, In The Happy Long Ago, is one of those pieces that's so well-written you think you've heard it before.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: None

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