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Jake Shimabukuro has been redefining the capabilities of the ukulele for the last 20 years, and on February 14th, 2020 he returns with his new album 'Trio,' his first on Music Theories Recordings. It was nearly 15 years ago that the world first caught notice of the stunning musical artistry of Jake Shimabukuro. The young ukulele player's gorgeous rendition of George Harrison’s ballad 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' whilst sat in Central Park, became one of the most-watched clips on the then newly launched YouTube platform, and now sits at 16.5m+ views. Guided by producer R.S. Field (Steve Earle, Webb Wilder, John Mayall, Sonny Landreth) Shimabukuro, bassist Nolan Verner, and guitarist Dave Preston holed up in Nashville’s Sound Emporium studio in early 2019 with only a few snippets of riffs and melodies fleshed out, and over the course of a week these jams took flight and became songs. "I really wanted to capture the sound that we make when we jam together," Shimabukuro explains. "We get into this amazing improvisational zone at sound checks: Nolan will play a cool bass line, and Dave will chime in with these incredible guitar parts. Then I'll come in right after and play melodies to what they're doing. So I finally said, 'We should just go into the studio, hit 'record' and see what happens." Music fans will no doubt hail Trio as a high water mark for Shimabukuro.
- Product Dimensions : 4.92 x 5.47 x 0.31 inches; 1.9 Ounces
- Manufacturer : Music Theories
- Original Release Date : 2020
- Date First Available : November 22, 2019
- Label : Music Theories
- ASIN : B081KRTNYZ
- Number of discs : 1
- Customer Reviews:
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"Trio" begins with the driving “When the Masks Come Down.” Propelled by Nolan Verner’s bass this song will have your toes tapping (all ten of them!) in no time at all. I dare you to try to sit still while listening to this one! The powerful rhythms in “Twelve” nudge it into the rock category, but it’s not really a rock instrumental. Or is it? “Resistance” reminds me of some of my favorite pop instrumentals from a few decades ago, but is still firmly rooted in the present. Some passages have a swirling energy and others are quieter and more reflective. The beautiful “Lament” takes us to a completely different place. Gentle rhythms and a seductive melody draw you in and soothe your soul. “Red Crystal” has a vibrant Latin flavor that intoxicates. “Morning Blue” falls somewhere between smooth jazz and ambient with an easy vibe and no edges anywhere - gorgeous! “Summer Rain” expresses a similar feeling - sweet and refreshing. “Wish You Were Here” is a fascinating instrumental cover of Pink Floyd’s 1975 classic. “Fireflies” by Coleman Bear Saunders has a funky country/blues attitude that is hard to resist - so I don’t! Love it! The traditional Hawaiian song, “Wai’alae” is a tribute to the musicians and bands that inspired Jake in his youth. Elegant yet lighthearted, it’s a happy update! “Strong in Broken Places” is very much an instrumental pop ballad that needs no words to tell its story. The Fleetwood Mac classic, “Landslide,” is the “lucky 13th” track on the album. Instead of Stevie Nicks’ distinctive husky voice, we’re treated to Rachel James’ beautiful husky voice - a lovely close to a great album!
"Trio" belongs in no specific genre and is all over the map style-wise, so it should appeal to a very wide audience. Personally, I love the variety! Both thumbs up!
The 13 tracks have some jazz, some rock (the other “cover” here is Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here”) and a nice Hawaiian number.
The packaging is a simple digipak with a track list and production credits. Not even a photo of Jake or the band. The front cover illustration shows the three stringed instruments and resembles the old Riverside Jazz record albums from the 1960s.
Shimabukuro continues to take the Jumping flea” (the Hawaiian meaning for the word “ukulele” in directions NO ONE has gone. I often think of him as the Bela Fleck (banjo icon) of the Uke. (Oh yeah, Bela and Jake have recorded together as well.
If you are a Jake fan(I sure am) you will want this new album. Amazon has some samples up to listen to. By the way, see the band play live if in your area – they played here recently with Sierra Hull as opener and Jake and Sierra did a few impromptu duets. (Search You tube to see).
I hope this review was informative.