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Album Review

When your claim to fame is being a ukulele virtuoso, your obvious move is going to be the show-offy novelty piece: an unamplified version of "Eruption," say, or a heavy metal arrangement of "Flight of the Bumblebee." It's very much to Jake Shimabukuro's credit that he doesn't go anywhere near that kind of obvious pandering on this brief but completely charming EP. Instead, he takes six songs by a wide variety of artists (Judy Garland, Cyndi Lauper, two by the Beatles, Sarah McLachlan, even Led Zeppelin) and gives them quiet, tasteful arrangements that draw much more attention to his musicianship and to the songs themselves than they do to the fact that he's playing a ukulele. His setting of "Time After Time" is both the most fully arranged and the least interesting of the six tracks; his solo performances of Led Zeppelin's "Going to California" is quietly brilliant, as is his similar take on the Beatles' "Here, There, and Everywhere" and McLachlan's "Ice Cream." On the title track, another famous Beatles song, he's accompanied by electric bass and the effect is perfect. Very highly recommended.

Customer Reviews

Delightfully Different

Never having been a fan of the Ukulele I was in for a very pleasant suprise - I can't stop playing this. Played with passion and skill, it is different and freshing. Music to make you smile.

Biography

Born: 03 November 1976 in Honolulu, HI

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Ukulele master Jake Shimabukuro has taken the four-string, two-octave instrument to places no one could have imagined back in the golden years of Don Ho, ranging freely across the music spectrum from jazz, blues, and funk to bluegrass, classical, and folk with the ease of a musician fully in command of the possibilities of his chosen instrument. Born November 3, 1976 in Honolulu, Hawaii, Shimabukuro was given his first ukulele lesson by his mother when he was only four years old. Fascinated by the...
Full bio
My Life, Jake Shimabukuro
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