Ukulele, guitar and Hawaiian steel guitar.
Gerald Ross is a world-class musician playing guitar, ukulele, and steel. The drums and bass lines are sequenced. The song line-up includes a list of hits from decades all of them brilliantly arranged and played by Gerald.
When it comes to instrumental music, Gerald is one of those people that has a great understanding of dynamics and subtlety. His playing is smooth and he exhibits a great deal of finesse. Nothing is over the top and nothing is left wanting.
The CD kicks off with a Benny Goodman tune. If you like swing, this track with get your attention in the few seconds and keep it.
“Samba De Orfeu”, the Luis Bonfa tune is a standard. It’s been in movie scores and countless recordings. Gerald plays it beautifully.
“California Girls” has a little swing edge to it.
“Sleepwalk” is an old Farina brothers tune. It’s been played and recorded many times over the years, but Gerald makes it his own. There is an Hawaiian flavor to this rendition, thanks to the steel guitar. The steel is dead-on. You won’t hear timing mishaps, nor flat or sharp notes. With such extensive use of steel, that is rare. Flawlessly performed in this recording.
“Sabor A Mi'” will hook you in the first measure. Great intro. I love the guitar work. Again, timing is EVERYTHING on this song and Gerald pins it down nicely. Even the sequenced snare drum is perfect.
“You Don’t Know Me” is another song that became a standard. Cindy Walker wrote it… I think it was the mid 1950s. It was recorded by several notable artists, including Ray Charles who gave it a really edgy vibe. I love this interpretation of it.
“One Mint Julep” also was done by Ray Charles. It has appeared on many recordings.
“Things We Said Today” Beatles tune. I believe Paul McCartney wrote this tune. Not many people remember it.
“The Gypsy” is another standard. I recall the Ink Spots version of the tune.
“Canadian Sunset” is another song I have heard many time. I really like Gerald’s interpretation of it here. Nice blend of guitars and steel.
“Apache” is a “surf music” tune and I have heard it more than once. I am not sure who wrote it. Nicely done.
“He Aloha No Honolulu” I was not familiar with this song. I like it. Again, nice steel work.
“Runaway” Del Shannon made run-run-run-run-runaway a bit hit in the early Sixties. Gerald has once again made it his own.
“Music to Watch Girls By” …I remember this song from my parents record collection when I was a kid. Andy Williams had a great voice and I remember his rendition well.
Mercy, Mercy, Mercy. I want more. This is a great collection of tunes from a great musician.
Issue 5, April 2009