Tucats | Christmas Like Never Before

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Jazz: Smooth Jazz World: World Fusion Moods: Mood: Christmas
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Christmas Like Never Before

by Tucats

Jazzy Christmas CD with elements of pop, folk, and Latin rhythyms, too!
Genre: Jazz: Smooth Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. O Little Town of Bethlehem
3:41 album only
2. Angels We Have Heard On High
3:55 album only
3. We Three Kings
3:30 album only
4. Silent Night
5:10 album only
5. Greensleeves
3:26 album only
6. Good King Wenceslaus
2:54 album only
7. O Tannenbaum
3:46 album only
8. O Holy Night
5:20 album only
9. Hark ! the Herald Angels Sing
5:45 album only
10. Away in a Manger
4:13 album only
11. Auld Lang Syne
6:30 album only


Album Notes
Tucats is a duo of Paul Petersen on guitar and vocals and Michael Strautman on saxophones.

In the summer of 1997 Paul moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky, from his hometown of Cape Town, South Africa.

Having played music since the age of 13, Paul envisioned doing the same in the United States. In late fall 1997, Paul was asked to play with the Lost River Cave Big Band. It was at his first practice with the band that Paul met Michael. At that time Michael, originally from Ohio, was a sophomore majoring in musical performance at Western Kentucky University. Paul was getting together a solo gig and knew that Michael's saxophone would be the perfect addition to his sound.

Thus began the musical relationship of Paul and Michael, as they played weddings and private parties.

For two years they performed together and without a name. In the fall of 2000, Paul and Michael were offered the job of house band at the Cumberland Grill in Bowling Green. At this point they had a growing fan base and had to come up with a name, some form of identification. "Tucats" was the name they chose By then Paul and Michael had recorded on several CDs of other musicians, but never their own CD as a duo. Fans were asking for music of the band, and none were to be had.

One groupie suggested a Christmas CD. When Tucats began recording their Christmas CD, the music was to be traditional Christmas carols. However, Paul and Michael couldn't stop with plain traditional songs. Their creativity got the best of them.

They added their own flare: Paul's Cape Town jazz beat and Michael's Kentucky jazz groove. Every song became a new challenge, trying out new and exciting rhythms and arrangements. As Paul said, "This CD took on a life of its own."

One thing is for sure: It's Christmas like it has never been heard before.

With elements of jazz, pop, folk, and latin rhythyms, may this CD become a part of your traditional holiday celebration, Christmas Like Never Before.



to write a review

Brenda Taylor

I originally purchased this CD form Michael's father, Ken Strautman, whom I had worked with for several years. Growing up in a musical family I learned early to appreciate all music. These two gentleman are extremely talented and listening to the CD today made me appreciate them even more. I would love to see them make another CD of more contemporary music. Best of luck to both of them.

Boo Spiller

A Christmas Collection MUST
This CD is a unique blend of Christmas traditionals and smooth jazz. If you don't have it in your Christmas music collection, you are missing out. The tunes stick in your head like Christmas pudding sticks to your ribs.

News 4 U

Tucats is a duo comprised of guitarist Paul Petersen and saxman Michael Strautman. After winning a devout following in the Bowling Green area, Tucats have released their debut CD. Called Christmas Like Never Before, the disc is – surprise! – a holiday-themed release, offering the group’s jazzy new age versions of Christmas standards. Similar to the approach taken by Mannheim Steamroller, Tucats transforms old chestnuts like “Silent Night,” “O Holy Night” and “Away in a Manger” into slick, texturally dense displays of instrumental virtuosity. Petersen, a native of South Africa, is a fluid guitarist and bass player whose style is reminiscent of musicians like Alex DeGrassi and Michael Manring (among others), while Cincinnati native Strautman provides jazzier, earthier tones to the Tucat musical palette. Both men are credited with vocals on this release; whichever Tucat it was who sang “O Little Town of Bethlehem” bears an uncanny vocal resemblance to Lyle Lovett. The version of “Greensleeves” included here displays a prominent Afro-Caribbean influence, adding an unexpected twist to this madrigal. These ingredients add up to a holiday album that will provide excellent listening as the season unfolds. The only problem with this disc is that nobody likes to listen to Christmas carols in the middle of, say, July. Tucats should consider doing an album that isn’t season specific.
Christmas Like Never Before can be purchased at gift shops throughout Bowling Green and Glasgow, or through www.tucatsmusic.com.
---Jay Ditzer