MusicDish e-Journal - December 16, 2018
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Best Of The Batch: James Hollihan And The Symphony Of Guitars
The Nutcracker Suite-Sounds Of The Holidays
By MuzikMan
(more articles from this author)
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Artist: James Hollihan and the Symphony of Guitars
Title: The Nutcracker Suite-Sounds of the Holidays
Genre: Jazz-Classical-Rock
Label: Nuevotron
Download: The Nuntcracker Suite - Sounds of the Holidays

This CD is not your ordinary holiday recording. James Hollihan, guitar player extraordinaire, has put together a fabulously innovative and entertaining instrumental jazz- classical fusion recording with an understated blues and rock tone. I cannot stress enough how this is not your typical holiday CD, and that is the very reason it is the type of music you could enjoy during the holiday season or on the 4th of July. Good music does not have a timeline.

Depending on which genre, I get seasonal CDs and expect more of the same every year with slight variations of time tested tunes, dependent on the nature of each genre. This recording was a most pleasant surprise because of its musical diversity within the realm of jazz-classical in reference to seasonal music. Hollihan plays a myriad of guitars and makes the timeless suite a complex and colorful affair creating a true symphony of guitars.

Hollihan commented: I played everything. Some sort of guitar, mandolin, or bass guitar made all of the sounds you hear on the CD. A note of interest, the highest parts were achieved by using a special guitar that plays an octave above a regular guitar (in the same range as violin, flute). The recording wasn't slowed down to accomplish this.

If you are into jazz and happen to have a proclivity for instrumental guitar music The Nutcracker Suite-Sounds of the Holidays is your best bet this year.

Instruments Used:

Gretsch Nashville
Gibson 335
Gibson Les Paul
Gibson Advanced Jumbo
Martin 00-18
Guild X-170
Yamaha Nylon String
Yamaha Fretless Bass
Jerry Jones 6-string bass
Epiphone Mandolin
Robin Octave Guitar


01. Overture (3:13)
02. March (2:32)
03. Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairies (1:53)
04. Russian Dance (1:08)
05. Arabian Dance (3:00)
06. Chinese Dance (1:05)
07. Dance of the Toy Flutes (2:16)
08. Waltz of the Flowers (6:20)
09. Joy to the World (2:26)
10. Carol of the Bells (3:26)
11. March of the Toys from Babes in Toyland (3:41)
12. Silent Night (2:29)
13. What Child is This (4:57)
14. Hallelujah Chorus (3:44)

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