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Peace Love Ukulele

4.7 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

It's rare for a young musician to earn comparisons to the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Miles Davis. It's even harder to find an artist who has entirely redefined an instrument by his early thirties. But Jake Shimabukuro (she-ma-boo-koo-row) has already accomplished these feats, and more, in a little over a decade of playing and recording music. As the San Francisco Gate recently posited about the Hawaiian musician: "The sounds the boyish 33-year old wrings from his ukulele...are unlike anything else in the history of the instrument."

Yes, the ukulele. In the hands of Shimabukuro, the traditional Hawaiian instrument of four strings and two octaves is stretched and molded into a complex and bold new musical force. On an album like his new Peace Love Ukulele,' Jake and his "uke" effortlessly (it seems) mix jazz, rock, classical, traditional Hawaiian music and folk, creating a sound that's both technically masterful and emotionally powerful...and utterly unique in the music world.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 4, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Mailboat Records
  • ASIN: B00477HOUG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,450 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Peter Calvet on April 16, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The modest little ukulele, brought to Hawaii by early Portuguese settlers was never intended to be a major solo instrument. A Portuguese folk instrument, called "cavaquinho", in Portugal it is used for rapid strumming in folk dances, using usually simple chord changes. The cavaquinho was also exported to Brazil where it is called the same as in Portugal, and essentially played the same way as the Portuguese, but with the syncopated rhythms of the Samba and other popular music. Even in Hawaii, the uke has been mainly used as an accompanying instrument, strummed with fairly basic chords. Until now... Jake Shimabukuro has taken the lowly uke to an entirely new level. Don't even think Tiny Tim or Portuguese and Brazilian folk tunes. This guy is a legit virtuoso. What he does with this instrument is nothing short of amazing. Complex chords, fancy solos, all with just four strings. Sometimes you have to wonder if he is cheating. But when you see him live you can't believe what you are seeing. This CD has more sophisticated orchestral arrangements unlike his previous pieces that are most solo, but the power of his playing shines through nonetheless. If you are an acoustic guitar lover, you're not going to believe he is playing a diminutive guitar like instrument with only four strings. He is that good. Before you purchase any of his CD's check him out on You Tube. He's got a few videos you can watch in amazement. And if you're like me, you'll want to purchase some of his music right away.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Jake Shimabukuro is almost certainly the finest Hawaiian ukulele player performing today. He infuses tradition with a modern sensibility and reworks contemporary music in a classic style. "Peace Love Ukulele," his newest solo album, is wonderfully intricate and soothing.

Also check out his 2006 album, Gently Weeps, and his NPR page, which features an interview and clips from several concerts. At the Rolling Stone website, you can watch intimate performances of the first three songs on this CD, including "Bohemian Rhapsody," its centerpiece.
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Format: Audio CD
Jake Shimabukuro takes ukulele playing to a new level with "Peace Love Ukulele". He is proof that beautiful music can be made without singing a single word. My favorite track is "Bohemian Rhapsody. I have never heard this classic rock tune played on an ukulele. Every chord is so soothing on this track. "Go For Broke" is a patriotic tune for the soldiers. This is a very moving composition. "Bring Your Adz" is another original composition. Jake proves that a fast paced ukulele song can be enjoyable with this song. "One Four Three" is a pretty ukulele love song. This song puts me in a great mood. I love the song Hallelujah, but I have never heard it an instrumental version of it before. It sounds absolutely breathtaking. He conveys so much emotion with his instrument on this song. "Five Dollars Unleaded" is a fun song about gasoline. This song is light in beginning. The tempo of the song is serious in the middle and light again in the end. "Piano Forte" is an ukulele song that is inspired by the piano. The chords on this song touch my emotions. It is an absolutely goregous three and a half minutes of music. "Trapped" is cool groovy song that is inspired by jazz music of all things. I have never heard anything like it. The music of Jake Shimabukuro is delightful, moving and inventive. I love this disc.
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Format: Audio CD
I discovered Jake Shimabukuro 10 years ago, when he was just 22 and a whiz at playing the uke. Of course by then he had already been playing it for 18 years!. For his earliest recordings he was backed by a band. Then he cut back and went mostly solo, with a bass or percussion used sometimes to fill out the instrumentation. He is now 33 and has matured even more in to a world-class musician with a worldwide reputation. While many folks may not remember his name, if you say "that guy playing that George Harrison song on a uke in Central Park", they instantly know who you mean.

Jake's latest CD is a great mix of music styles and shows his growth as a composer as well as a musical innovator. While earlier albums showcases the lightning speed of his fingers - still in great evidence on the track "Bring You Adz", his musical passion for the classics (he appears on the Bach & Friends DVD and in duet with Yo-Yo Ma on Ma's holiday CD) on " Pianoforte" and "Trapped 2010", the latter would be a great duet with Joshua Bell. Jake's tribute to World War II veterans, "Go For Broke" uses snare drums to give it movement. And Jake is not the only Shimabukuro who plays ukulele. His younger brother, Bruce, is a uke teacher in Hawaii and joins Jake for the duet they composed: "Ukulele Bros.". There are two "cover songs" here as well. Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" and the Queen masterpiece "Bohemian Rhapsody", performed twice (once in studio and once live in Japan) with just Jake and his four-string, two octave, "jumping flea". He has dissected all the parts and put them together in an arrangement that makes this his best album yet.

If you haven't discovered Jake yet, now is the time. (Bette Midler chose him as the only accompaniment to her performance of "In My Life" for Queen Elizabeth! So she knows!). If you already know his albums, just go out and grab this one!)

Steve Ramm
"Anything Phonographic"
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