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Gently Weeps Extra tracks

4.8 out of 5 stars 82 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Jake Shimabukuro is one of the most exciting up-and-coming musicians today. Already compares to greats like Hendrix and Clapton for his ability and innovation, word of Jake's breathtaking talent spread worldwide when a video clip of him playing George Harrison's While My Guitar Gently Weeps began circulating the internet last year. Word about the Hawaiian-born ukulele virtuoso is still spreading. Sold-out crowds and standing ovations were a nightly occurrence on his second US tour. Capturing the energy of his live show, Gently Weeps features solo performance repertoire that's causing fans from Los Angeles to New York and New Orleans to Chicago to hail Jake as the next musical legend.

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You'll forget all the Tiny Tim, Don Ho, and Hawaiian-music jokes about the ukulele when you hear Gently Weeps, which leaves behind the Roaring Twenties strum and plinky-dink sound of most such music. Jake Shimabukuro sets the tone with the lead-off track from which he takes the album's title, George Harrison's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," unfolding the vulnerable undertow of Harrison's epic lament. A string of covers follows, as Shimabukuro touches the serene with Schubert's "Ave Maria," evokes a Japanese koto on a Zen-like version of "Sakura," and turns "The Star-Spangled Banner" into a lament. But Shimabukuro's original tunes are just as full of plucked nuance, especially "Heartbeat Dragon," where he uses a slight delay to create a quietly joyful Celtic air. However, don't think it's all wistful melancholy. Shimabukuro whips it out on original tracks like "Let's Dance," alternating hard rhythmic chops with flamenco-like strums. His take on Erroll Garner's "Misty" is a little jive, though I'm sure the hot jazz middle-section pumps the crowds up. Chick Corea's "Spain" fares much better and still scores high on the flash quotient. You just can't keep a fret-burner down, even when his fretboard is toy-sized. You can't keep the Hawaiian out either. Its gentle sway turns up on the sweetly laconic "Angel." A few bonus tracks of generic fusion at the end detract from the solo purity and intimate mood that Shimabukuro creates, but Gently Weeps is a joy until then. --John Diliberto

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. While My Guitar Gently Weeps
  2. Ave Maria
  3. Wish On My Star
  4. Shakura
  5. The Star-Spangled Banner
  6. Let’s Dance
  7. Misty
  8. Spain
  9. Heartbeat/Dragon
  10. Blue Roses Falling
  11. Grandma’s Groove
  12. Breathe
  13. Angel
  14. Lazy Jane
  15. Hula Girl
  16. Beyond The Break
  17. Wish On My Star (vocal version)


Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 19, 2006)
  • Original Release Date: September 19, 2006
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Extra tracks
  • Label: Hitchhike Records
  • ASIN: B000HIP44M
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,072 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robert L. Flenner on October 12, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
OK, there are 2 words I never, ever though I would use together. Virtuoso and ukulele. That is, until I heard "Gently Weeps". This disc is simply amazing. I heard Scott Simon on NPR's Weekend Edition talking to Jake, and what I heard intrigued me enough to gamble and spend the $$ for this disc. I figured, what I heard was good, and if the uke was a good enough instrument for George Harrison then it was going to be OK. Man, was I surprised at what was coming through my speakers. This man is one of the most incredible musicians I have ever heard. The songs he covers, especially his versions of "While my Guitar Gently Weeps","Misty", "Spain" and "Ave Maria" are some of the best versions anywhere anytime. Half of the disc is original compositions, which are absolutely beautiful. Of special interest are the bonus songs, here Jake plays with other musicians and is able to concentrate on creating fluid lead lines instead of creating both rhythm and lead as he does when he plays solo ukulele.

This disc is beautiful and powerful. There are traces of flamenco styling as well jazz, country, well...you name it. This disc is a wonderful surprise and I recommend it highly. "Ukulele Virtuoso" indeed.
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He was one of the huge surprise performers that probably few had heard of prior to seeing him perform. Everyone was blown away. This newest CD is the best place to start. While My Guitar Gently Weeps is worth the CD alone. Anyone that has the courage to put Ave Maria and Star Spangled banner on a Ukelele CD must have the chops to back it up.
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I like this collection of ukulele solos a lot more than I like Jake's previous work, playing with a group of backup musicians. He makes an ukulele sing like a string quartet. I could do without the "bonus tracks," in which he plays accompanied by drums, bass, slide guitar ... but I suppose the producers wanted to show off Jake's group instrumental compositions.

Jake's covers of other people's compositions are creative, interesting, entertaining, and fun to listen to; his own compositions for ukulele have great musical inventiveness, energy, and sensitivity. Jake does things with his ukulele that I did not imagine were possible on a single instrument, much less one with just four strings. But I don't listen to it for the amazement value -- it's just great music, played with spirit and finesse.
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I purchased this cd based on the excellent reviews and the fact that it was ranked #1 in instrumentals. I believed that the title of the cd reflected content the soft, meditative music I go for. The playing of the ukelele is indeed virtuoso as another reviewer mentioned. But the content is predominantly very upbeat samples of a variety of styles. Perhaps I did not listen to all the samples I should have, but I do believe the cd title should accurately portray something about the songs within. Example: even includes a redition of the Star Spangled Banner and Hula Girl.
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Format: Audio CD
I heard JAKE perform live last summer and we fell in love with his "Ave Maria". This cut is gorgeous, but so is everything else on the CD. Highly recommended for anyone who loves string repertoire.
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This is a very good CD. Jake is still young, and has a tendency to want to show off his wonderful technique a bit much, but he is already a fine musician and he does know how to choose his music well. Once he matures a bit, and gets over his "king of the speedway" approach to playing, he will be one of the great jazz/rock ukulele players, right up there with Lyle Ritz and Ohta-San. He certainly has the talent.
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I heard part of his rendition of While My Guitar Gently Weeps on the radio and immediately purchased this. Unfortunately, that song ends up pretty frenetic towards the end. Some of the other songs are as well. I don't have a desire to listen to it again. Being acoustic, I thought it would be a mellower album. I think he's a great musician just not my cup of tea.
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Format: Audio CD
I was lucky enough to hear this new CD. It's Jake's first SOLO Album without any other musicians.

It'll be coming out in September in the US so the price should be more resonable then.

All his other CDs are great - my favorite is still Crosscurrents. And the DVD is a bargain at under $15.00 list!

This guy is a whiz! Just listen to samples!

Steve
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