Monday, May 07, 2012

Swing Ukulele by Gerald Ross

The ukulele is a small four stringed and guitarshaped instrument of Hawaiian origins. It was for a long time connected with light entertainment and artists performing in vaudeville, music halls and black and white movies - often used as a suitable tool for accompaniment of seranading crooners and songbirds. However, the tiny instrument also has a more serious importance in the evolvement of musical ideas and challenging musicianship.Pioneers in making the ukulele a solo voice in a jazz context like Bill Tapia, Herb Otha and Lyle Ritz have set the path for evolving the ukulele as a respected and challenging instrument.The shown cd adds another master of solo ukulele playing to the small herd of devoted musicians, who have helped extending the repertoire and musical possibilities of the instrument.

Gerald Ross is a multi-instrumentalist mastering various string instruments like guitar, lap steel guitar, bass, mandolin - and ukulele. With a musical background as selftaught he has had a career playing professionally since 1970. He has performed with string bands, Western & Swing ensembles and in concert with folk and blues artists like Bonnie Rait, Arlo Guthrie, Doc Watson, Brownie McGhee a.o.. Further he has worked in radio shows and has won the 1993 WEMU Jazz Competition in the solo artist category. He has released six cds in his own name, 'Ukulele Swing' shown above is his latest. Learn more about Gerald Ross' career from his official website, here
The Ukulele Swing cd has 16 tracks containing swing classics like "Honeysuckle Rose" and "Stompin' At The Savoy", popular tunes like "Isn't It Romantic?", "September In The Rain" and "It's Only A Paper Moon". The ukulele is backed by Ross' own accompaniment on rhythm guitar, bass and, on a couple of tunes, the lap steel guitar. All tunes are very well arranged and the playing is magnificent throughout, listening to the cd is a pleasant and most enjoable experience, the music is accessible from the first notes and keeps swinging through all 16 tracks, highly recommended! - To give you an impression of some of the contained music on the disc, I'll insert a couple of uploaded videos below with tunes included. Gerald Ross also has his own playlist at YouTube, where you can find more uploaded music and instruction stuff, here. - Here is first Gerald Ross playing "Stompin'
At The Savoy"

Here's a rendition of a popular tune, "Cocktails For Two"

Finally, here's a great arrangement and performance of "That's A Plenty"

The Ukulele Swing cd as well as Gerald Ross' other cds are available from his online webshop, click here


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